A bookstore that provides textbook ordering services for primary and secondary schools has announced it could only deliver all the books to students at the end of September due to many employees resigning simultaneously.
Jing Kung Book Store, located in Wong Chuk Hang with 65-year-old history, is said to be discussing with schools about book distribution arrangements as it could not deliver the textbooks in time.
Over 30 schools were affected, according to the bookstore. A spokesperson of the bookstore apologised to the customers and said it might complete the delivery by October.
"We will not accept new orders during this month since the backlog of the orders," said the bookstore in a post on September 1, noting the services of refund and replacement were currently available.
Even though the spokesperson claimed in the social media post that customers didn't need to come to the bookstore, many parents and students were in the queue over the weekend hoping to get their books.
"I don't know when all the books I reserved will be available," said a student's parent surnamed Lam, "I could only come here to the line and wait."
Piles of unopened textbooks for different grades were found in the hallway of the bookstore.
"We are shorthanded now," said Chan, a bookstore staff member.
"We hired over 20 summer part-timers to deliver the books, but they all resigned almost simultaneously due to the short summer vacation. Maybe they decided to enjoy the holiday rather than go to work," she added.
The new academic semester started on September 1 after only a two-week break. The Education Bureau applied a four-week "summer break" in March during the fifth wave of the Covid
The bookstore said to have contacted the education authorities for help and expected to finish the delivery between late September to early October.
The Education Bureau suggested that - in response to the matter - publishers could provide schools with the electronic version of individual textbooks or book chapters that are in need, in case of delaying the teaching schedule.