Educators warn of higher students withdrawal

Local | 7 Nov 2020 1:44 pm

Educators warned that local schools would see more students withdrawing due to political reasons. 

Cheung Yung-pong, the honorary chairman of the Aided Primary School Heads Association, said in a program that some parents are concerned about the polarization in the city, and decide to send their children overseas or on the mainland to further studies. 

Cheung, also the principal at St. James Primary School, said the dropout rate at his school has risen from the usual two to three percent. 

Speaking on the same program, Tai Tak-ching, the head of the Wan Chai District Headmasters' Conference, said he has handled more than 10 withdrawal cases at his school since August, with most saying they would continue their studies overseas or at international schools. 

He added it was the first time he has seen such an unprecedented situation since he had become a teacher 11 years ago and urged the Education Bureau to monitor the trend closely.

Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen attributed the phenomenon to political and societal factors, adding that parents chose to send their children to study overseas despite the pandemic this year. 

Ip predicted that the number of students withdrawing from Hong Kong schools would further increase when the Covid-19 outbreak is over. 

Meanwhile, both Cheung and Tai said they would not see promotional activities to commemorate the Constitution Day as a “political mission”.

Earlier, the Education Bureau has sent out a notice earlier suggesting schools to celebrate the mainland's Constitution Day on December 4.

Cheung said his school had originally planned for a sports day on Constitution Day, but the school would consider activities like raising the national flag and singing the national anthem which would be seen as an enhancement of national education. 

Tai explained that students must learn about the country and the SAR's laws which are also covered in some subjects, thus he would not take the Bureau's suggestion as a political mission. 

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