Reduce primary class size to 21 students, principal calls amid emigration wave

Local | 6 Sep 2021 1:15 pm

Reduce the size of primary class from 25 to 21 students, the head of a primary school council proposed as the emigration wave hits student numbers.

According to official statistics from the Primary School Profiles issued last Thursday, the number of primary classes in government and subsidized schools drops by 62 in the new school year.

Speaking on a radio program this morning, the head of Subsidized Primary Schools Council, Woo Yim-fun, said the actual situation could be worse, as the statistics were collected in April, and more students could have emigrated with their families during the summer holiday.

It has been a dire situation for schools, she continued, as some were affected by cross-border students being unable to come to Hong Kong during the pandemic. Others were hit more seriously by emigration. She called on authorities to consider short, mid and long-term solutions.

Woo proposed reducing class sizes for primary schools from 25 students per class to 21 students.

The Education Bureau should also consider allowing teachers to stay on for one or two years even if class numbers shrink, so that arrangements can be made when student numbers stabilize, she said.

Woo also noted that there may changes in the student population in the coming years, as some students can return to Hong Kong schools when the border reopens. Some families who emigrated may also decide to come back to the SAR if children fail to adapt.

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