Incredible COVID-19 rules cloud Hong Kong schools

“Feeling of unhappiness”

Schools offering programs abroad have traditionally been a major attraction for expatriate professionals, which Hong Kong relies on for its reputation as a cosmopolitan business and financial center close to China.

With a population of 7.3 million, the city has more than 70 international schools. Japan has around 40 people compared to a combined population of around 18 million in Tokyo and Yokohama.

Leo, 27, a former high school teacher, said Hong Kong students, who have done most of their education online for the past two and a half years, feel defeated and there is a “sense of bad luck. ” in schools.

He quit his job in July, fed up with the city’s adoption of China’s zero COVID strategy, which aims to eradicate all epidemics.

“The constant shift between face-to-face and online classes really weighed on their desire to learn,” said Leo, who asked to use only his name. He currently works abroad as a flight attendant.

Although different from school to school, other rules imposed on pupils include the obligation to attend full swimming lessons (without wearing a mask) if a child is infected and to eat on the school premises. school for children with half-day individual lessons. includes the ban. ,

Some students with full-time classes are unable to bring food that requires utensils, while all children under the age of two are required to wear masks outside their homes.

The multiple restrictions go against global efforts to “live with the virus”. Hong Kong school children also faced much longer school breaks than mainland China, which imposed somewhat tighter closures but also had a longer period without COVID.

Educators and medical experts said the restrictions almost certainly had an impact on mental health.

According to a November study by the city’s Association of Youth Groups, more than half of Hong Kong’s approximately 3,600 high school students showed signs of depression.

The Hong Kong Education Bureau said COVID-19 measures are in place to protect the health of students in schools. He said he will update the rules as needed, without giving further details.

But medical experts argue, however, that city policies can do more harm than good when one takes into account the impact on mental health and general social development.

David Owens, physician and Dr David Owens, said, “Focusing on the low number of infant deaths due to COVID-19 in particular is ignoring the bigger picture. The goal of public health should be to make decisions that affect the health of the population. Be the best. “Founder of the OT&P Clinic Chain.

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