Secondary schools in protest-hit areas reopen today

October 06, 2014 11:05
Students are advised to leave home earlier and plan their travel routes in advance. Photo: AFP

Secondary schools in Central, Western and Wan Chai districts, which have been affected by pro-democracy protests since last week, will resume operations today, while classes in primary schools, kindergartens and special needs schools will remain suspended until further notice, Ming Pao Daily reported, citing an announcement from the Education Bureau.

At least 32 secondary schools as well as 121 primary schools and special needs schools in the three districts had already lost four teaching days due to the protests.

Principal Assistant Secretary for Education Sophia Wong said the decision was made after considering the wishes of parents, students and schools, as well as the learning needs of students.

Wong urged students to leave home earlier and plan their travel routes in advance, while schools should exercise flexibility in handling students who might be late or absent.

Assistant Commissioner for Transport Albert Su said a special 40M bus route will travel from Queen's Road Central to Pokfield Road to allow students and teachers to get to schools near Caine Road and Bonham Road, as services of bus routes 23 and 40 were still affected due to the closure of the Queensway in Admiralty.

Lam Chi-ping, vice chairman of the School Buses Operators Association Ltd., said school buses have to use alternative routes such as Lung Wo Road and Kennedy Road, extending travel time by 25 to 45 minutes, and as such, students are likely to be late for school.

Catholic Mission School principal Fung Suk-kai noted that primary six students have to take assessment exams for allocations for secondary one school places, and their progress might be affected by further suspension of classes as schools in other districts have been in normal operation.

Meanwhile, schools such as Tai Po Sam Yuk Secondary School have informed parents on Sunday night by SMS to leave the protest sites immediately and go home. Some parents of the HKMLC Queen Maud Secondary School said that after consultation with the principal, they decided not to let their children go out.

Lions College principal James Lam said the school has the contact numbers of a small number of students participating in the protests and teachers and social workers have been in regular contact with them, urging them to return home.

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