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SED's remarks on 14-day class suspension (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, today (June 11) on arrangements for class suspension of all primary schools, kindergartens, kindergartens cum child care centres as well as special schools (except Schools for Social Development with secondary section only) for 14 days from tomorrow (June 12) to June 25, after attending the meeting of the Steering Committee of Influenza Pandemic:

Reporter: ... exam arrangements and advice to parents...

Secretary for Education: We understand that most schools would have finished their final examinations. There are still a number of schools which have not completed the final examinations. If we are able to announce the resumption of classes at the end of the 14-day period and before July 10, we believe that there will be sufficient time for schools to arrange for the remaining examinations. But if for some reasons we are not able to announce the resumption of classes before July 10, we believe that there is no point making arrangements for exams after that day because by then it will be the onset of the summer recess. In that particular case, schools will come to individual arrangements as how to make assessments of students in accordance with the assessment of their abilities during the normal course of schools.

     As far as the primary five exam (i.e. the primary five second-term score submission examination) is concerned, because the allocation of places for secondary one will eventually depend on it, the exam is of some importance to this particular group of parents. If we are able to resume classes before July 10, the exams should take place. If somehow we cannot resume classes before July 10, and depending on the situation, we will make special arrangements with the Department of Health to enable schools to make arrangements for the examination under some circumstances to enable this test to be undertaken. We aim to prepare for this and to give sufficient notice to the schools concerned so that they can in turn give sufficient notice to parents in preparation for such examinations.

     As for the advice to parents, I think it is important to bear in mind that, the whole point of suspending classes is to ensure that there is no congregation of young children, as very often it is not easy for them to look after themselves or to take care of their own personal hygiene. We should make sure that there is no congregation of young children in large numbers. So my advice to parents is that they should try as far as possible not to bring their children to places where there are large numbers of children, such as playgrounds and shopping malls.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript)

Ends/Thursday, June 11, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:20


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