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EDB urges schools to strengthen preventive measures against flu (with photos)

    In the first of the four health talks organised by the Education Bureau (EDB) in collaboration with the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH), the EDB today (March 12) called on schools to be vigilant in strengthening its preventive measures against the spread of influenza in schools.

    The health talk series are organised in each of the four regions in the coming three days starting today to enhance schools on knowledge of preventing and controlling spread of influenza in schools, and to provide a platform for exchanges of good practices among schools.

    A spokesman for the Education Bureau said in this morningˇ¦s health talk, many school principals, teachers and staff were briefed on how to collaborate with EDB and CHP in preventing the spread of influenza in schools. They also shared their successful experience, including joining hands with committees for home school cooperation, maintaining good communication with parents to solicit their co-operation as well as keeping good air ventilation in school premises and preparing a stock on masks and related materials in minimizing the chance of teachers and students contracting the disease.

    The spokesman reminds schools that schools should make use of the Operating Expenses Block Grant if there is a need to purchase masks or other equipment to prevent the spread of influenza.

    The EDB issued a letter today to all kindergartens, kindergartens cum child care centres, and primary schools and secondary schools, reminding them to provide support for learning to those students who have fallen ill so as to ensure their learning would not be affected because of their absence from school.

    The spokesman said, ˇ§We remind schools that taking account of the situation of studentsˇ¦ absence from school due to illness, they may consider deferring examinations or tests in accordance with the actual circumstances in order to ease the concerns of students and parents. Schools are also urged to arrange supplementary examinations or tests for individual students who are unable to sit the examinations and tests because of illness and to handle the cases properly to ensure fairnessˇ¨.

    ˇ§In the letter, principals of primary schools are also urged to take note of the Internal Assessment for the purpose of Secondary School Places Allocation. If schools, for special reasons, are unable to arrange supplementary examinations for students absent from school due to illness, the Secondary School Place Allocation Section would allocate the school places for the students concerned in accordance with the established mechanism.ˇ¨

    The spokesman stressed that the EDB would continue to liaise with the DH and closely monitor the latest developments. Schools should inform the Bureau and the DH as early as possible if they find students developing infectious disease symptoms or when the number of students absent from schools increases suddenly. The EDB would, in collaboration with the DH, take follow-up action immediately to offer advice to schools about the suitable preventive measures to be taken and to make assessment, in accordance with the situation, on whether the school concerned would need to make holidays re-arrangement or to suspend classes.

    The EDB had delivered a letter from the CHP in mid-February and early March to remind all schools to take appropriate precautionary measures. The Bureau also issued a circular on March 6 requesting schools to step up the precautionary measures. To keep parents well informed of the above precautionary measures, schools were also asked to send a notice or letter to all parents requesting them to closely observe and follow the measures, including take the body temperature of their children before attending school.

    The circular also reminded schools to keep the Crisis Management Team on the alert and activate it when situation warranted, such as briefing all staff members and students on knowledge about influenza, implementing contingency measures when staff members or students have contracted the disease.

Ends/Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Issued at HKT 19:13


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