Asia Minute: Hong Kong Schools Starting Academic Year Online

Aug 10, 2020

The start of the school year will take the form of distance learning for students on Oahu. That’s also the case in many places around the country and the world – including Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s Education Minister has extended a ban on face-to-face teaching for an indefinite period. That announcement came last week in Hong Kong, many international schools usually get underway in August, while most local schools go back in September.

This year, everyone will be starting classes online — in-person classes and on-campus activities will be “suspended until further notice” according to the Education Minister. Once the government determines that it’s safe to return to the classroom, that movement is likely to happen in phases.

Top of the priority list will be students getting ready to take their university exams at the end of the academic year.

Another priority — those who are starting their first year of high school. They usually have an introductory program in the summer to help them transition to the next step of their education, but not this year.

Another challenge: cross-border students. Education officials say about 27,000 students commute from mainland China to go to school in Hong Kong.

Authorities have been through other adjustments earlier this year. Schools were closed in late January and reopened in late May and June — only to close again in July, when the number of cases of COVID-19 started to spike.