Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, May 20, 2024

Hong Kong pupils react to axed Covid mask rules with mix of joy, nerves

Hong Kong pupils react to axed Covid mask rules with mix of joy, nerves

Some students went to class with smiles on their faces after nearly three years of covering up, while many more kept masks on to calm their nerves.

Pupils across Hong Kong have met their first mask-free at school in almost three years with a mix of joy and nervousness, with some youngsters seeing their classmates’ faces for the first time and others expressing unease at being among the few to go uncovered.

Teacher Helen Luk of Creative Kindergarten & Day Nursery in Kowloon Tong on Wednesday said the lifting of the city’s mask rules would help educators with instruction and supervising classes.

“It was previously more difficult to see whether children were participating in lessons, like whether they were reciting sentences or singing along,” she said.

The policy change also removed a roadblock to teaching, Luk said, recalling that a pupil had previously used his mask to conceal chewing his pencil lead during class.

“I noticed the student seemed to be biting on something. Only when I removed the mask did I realise he was chewing on pencil lead and his mouth was all black,” she said.

“For such incidents, if the students weren’t wearing masks, the teachers could have discovered them sooner.”

Lau Sing-yuen, a five-year-old pupil at the kindergarten, who had worn masks since he started classes, said he was nervous about going out with his face uncovered and struggled at first to recognise his classmates.

“But I still prefer not to wear a mask as it’s more cooling,” he said.

Classmate Lai King-yung, six, said she was happy to see her friends’ faces for the first time in almost three years.

She was all smiles as she joined her friends in a game of tug of war.

“They look cuter without [the masks] and we have become closer friends,” she said.

“When I talk to my friends, it sounds clearer. If they don’t know what I’m saying, I can open my mouth wider and repeat what I just said to them. I can tell them secrets now.”

But the six-year-old also said her parents had encouraged her to wear masks in class, as they told her there were “more germs” there.

Principal Vivien So Wai-ling said the kindergarten respected the choice of parents and pupils when it came to mask-wearing.

“Some children who have worn masks for a long time may need more time to get used to not wearing them, since it’s been three years,” she said.

“Some parents will tell us about their concerns with language learning issues, so they would prefer their children not to wear masks.”

At Tsz Wan Shan Catholic Primary School, a mother who asked not to be named said her son had worn a big smile when he headed to campus on Wednesday, after previously expressing a reluctance to mask-up, but was shocked to be in the minority.

She said she had calmed him down and given him a mask to wear before he entered the school.

At morning assembly, the school told pupils they could decide whether they wanted to wear masks.

Most students are still reluctant to go to out without their masks.

The Post observed that most students were wearing masks as they headed to schools along Po Kong Village Road in Tsz Wan Shan.

Six-year-old Kyla Wong took out her mask just before heading into PLK Grandmont Primary School.

Her father Bryant Wong said she had counted the number of people wearing masks on the bus. “I know she was nervous about taking off her mask. So I told her it is all right to put it on,” he said.

Asked if she preferred wearing a mask, the six-year-old nodded her head. “I feel secure,” she said, adding she had no plans about going mask-free.

Her schoolmate Melody Ng also wore a mask, saying she felt safer with it on.

But she said she would consider going without her mask if all of her classmates did so. “I may take it off if that happens,” she said.

The Education Bureau on Tuesday updated its health guidelines for schools and advised teachers, other staff and pupils to wear masks if they had a fever or respiratory symptoms.

It also advised parents and schools to help students adjust to the lifting of the mask mandate, noting some children could feel uncomfortable or anxious if told to take off their face coverings.

The bureau also suggested teachers help students express themselves about the change through activities such as writing down their thoughts or concerns, and encourage pupils to respect the decisions of their classmates on wearing masks.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.