Hong Kong pupils return to class with protests and coronavirus on their minds

28-May-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:50 AM Print This Post

Some Hong Kong pupils staged protests against two controversial proposed laws as hundreds of local secondary schools reopened on Wednesday morning, after being forced to shut by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under a phased class resumption plan, secondary students from Form Three to Form Five were among the first batch to return to campus, with younger children back in class in June.

Dozens of student concern groups from secondary schools across the city had called for sit-ins and a class boycott on Wednesday as part of protests against the proposed national security and national anthem laws.

In Tsuen Wan, a few students took part in a “Walk with You” march from the MTR station to their schools, with one carrying a black flag that read, “Free Hong Kong, Revolution Now”.

A few pupils in Tsuen Wan stage a “Walk with You” demonstration from the MTR station to school to protest against proposed national security and anthem laws

A Form Four student at Po Leung Kuk Lee Shing Pik College, who identified herself as Jenny Chan, 16, said she hoped to show the government that students were defiant.

“We wish to let the government know that many of us have never supported the national security law, unlike what they believe, that all people of Hong Kong would support the proposed legislation,” she said.

Another Form Four pupil said: “We can’t give up, or else there would be no hope. Although each of us might only make a small difference, we still have to persist.”

Cross-border pupils unlikely to be in class when school resumes next week

A Form Three student from AD & FD POHL Leung Sing Tak College, who only gave his name as Tung, joined the demonstration and said he would also boycott class to protest against the national anthem law.

“I hope to show support to frontline protesters although my family didn’t let me [join the protests this morning],” he said. “But they have let me skip class this morning.

“If I don’t speak out today, Hong Kong’s future might be more bleak and we might not even get the chance to speak out in the future.”

On Tuesday, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung warned against non-cooperative actions, and called on pupils to refrain from illegal or dangerous activities.

Under guidelines for the reopening of schools, students must wear masks during class, keep one metre apart and avoid gatherings.

A Form Four student at Leung Sing Tak College said she missed her classmates after months away, but was still a bit worried about health risks at school.

“I really want to meet my friends,” said Tse, who would not reveal her full name. “During online lessons it was easy to get distracted, and now that we can go back to school, we need to catch up with lost time and progress.

“I have brought two extra masks, tissue and alcohol hand rub with me … but I’m still worried about potential infection risks during recess because a lot of my schoolmates may gather in the corridor.”



Category: Hong Kong

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