Student withdrawals in Hong Kong worries officials

Student withdrawals in Hong Kong have become a major problem, as schools begin to slowly reopen. Officials have said that the situation started last year after political unrest, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation.

A poll that was conducted on 230 Hong Kong schools shows that 95 percent of these schools reported students withdrawing over the past few months. The study also showed that most students who had withdrawn had moved to Mainland China to further their studies.

Starting from last year, Hong Kong has been plagued with social unrest, which has been exacerbated this year by the coronavirus pandemic that led to schools in the city closing for months. The schools have just reopened for a month, and then off to holidays.

Hong Kong student withdrawals

Another survey also showed that over 70 percent of the heads of school who took part in the survey indicated that they believed the situation will only get worse as they anticipated mass withdrawals of students if the coronavirus situation in the city is not dealt with. This survey was conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers.

The new school reopening, which started this month will involve distance learning through online classes. This will be followed by in-person school reopening, which local authorities said would begin on September 23rd.

The survey of the 231 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools surveyed also noted that 223 (97percent) institutions said the students withdrew from the schools between February and September. It also noted that 20 schools had reported that they lost between 21-50 students during that period while 11 schools reported having lost 51 or more students.

On the reasons cited for departure, 127 schools indicated their students were moving to Mainland China to further their studies while 74 schools indicated students were moving overseas for their studies.

Dion Chen, chairman of the Hong Kong Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools said that he had noticed a sharp increase of students withdrawing from schools in the city. However, he said that it remained to be seen if the situation would get much worse in the next few weeks.


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