Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim was quick to post on his Facebook page that he attended the first meeting of the newly established Committee on the Prevention of Student Suicides on Wednesday.
However, it was later revealed that Ng only sat in the meeting for 10 minutes, Metro Daily reports.
Ng said he was fully confident with the work to be done by the committee, which is probably the reason he decided that he did not need to stay throughout the two-hour meeting.
The committee is set to submit its first report in six months’ time.
It is chaired by Professor Paul Yip, director of the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong, with representatives of schools, parents and other professionals as members, according to Apple Daily.
The Education Bureau earlier said the committee would start by reviewing and analyzing the student suicide cases that happened in recent years, on the basis of which it will make recommendations.
In addition, the committee will discuss preventive measures including the mechanism and procedures to identify students with suicidal risk, cross-sector communication and collaboration, support services for mental wellness, life education and guidance programs, parent education and media reporting.
Althea Suen, chairperson of the HKU Students’ Union and the only student representative in the committee, said most of the existing education policies and social services are geared towards primary and secondary school students and have neglected the needs of tertiary students.
Suen said she is hoping to shed light on the issues faced by tertiary students and their needs.
Another committee member, Hsu Siu-man, counselling services supervisor at the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, said students are facing various issues and challenges in life, such as academic pressure, family relationship and their growing environment.
The committee will meet once a month.
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