HKPTU News Reporter
Before the Easter holiday, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) had sent out questionnaire to school principals of kindergartens, primary, secondary and special schools, and received 124 responses in just one day.
The result showed that 96.8% of the principals were in full support of allowing a larger number of students to resume face-to-face classes on a half-day basis, and resuming classes should not be linked to teachers on getting compulsory COVID-19 testing.
Immediately afterwards, the Educational Bureau (EDB) announced on 26th March, that schools were allowed to resume face-to-face classes with a total number of not more than two thirds of students in school.
The HKPTU believed that the current measure of allowing more students to resume classes fits the expectation of the education sector, and again reaffirmed that the EDB should not make COVID-19 testing on teachers compulsory or vaccination necessary for class resumptions.
The HKPTU believed that since the epidemic situation of COVID-19 had turned steady and the number of unknown source cases had dropped, it allows more students to return to school for classes. The HKPTU also emphasized that schools must follow the guidelines for COVID-19 prevention and make sure that there is low risk of infection for both teachers and students.
Besides, it is undeniable that there are limitations on online teaching, and resuming more face-to-face classes is essential for students’ learning process.
Furthermore, the survey revealed that 82.3% of the principals felt pressured as the EDB now demanded all teachers to go through compulsory COVID-19 testing before fully resuming classes.
Earlier in February, the HKPTU had already received more than ten thousand responses from teachers and principals opposing the EDB’s decision on making COVID-19 testing a precondition for full class resumption. Therefore, the HKPTU now demands withdrawal of the decision, and opposes proposal to make COVID-19 testing and vaccination compulsory for teachers in order to resume classes.