The closure of all schools in Hong Kong, including local and international kindergartens, primary, secondary and special schools, has been extended by at least two weeks – until March 16 at the earliest.
Students in Hong Kong have not been in school since before the Chinese New Year holiday, when the city raised its response level to the Coronavirus outbreak to "emergency". Today (Thursday), the Education Bureau (EDB) extended this suspension of all classes for at least another two weeks.
Secretary for Education, Kevin Yeung, said that the decision is based on the advice of medical professionals. Schools will only reopen "when all conditions are satisfied", he said.
However, classes will now be suspended for students at all schools, including those run by the English Schools Foundation (ESF).
The ESF told parents: "The EDB today announced that all special school, kindergarten, primary and secondary school classes are suspended until 16 March pending further assessment. Students, therefore, should not travel to school.
"Any questions, please contact your school through the usual communications channels.
We appreciate your understanding and support during this time."
This is the second time in the 2019-20 academic year that international schools have been told to close; all classes were suspended for up to one week in November 2019 due to the ongoing protests across Hong Kong.
During the closure period, the EDB has urged schools to "make good use of e-learning, such as providing students with useful learning materials through emails, school websites, e-learning platforms and other effective means".
The EDB has also suspended and postponed all students' exchange programmes in Mainland China, and has "called on tertiary institutions to make similar arrangements for internship and exchange activities".
Commenting on applications for the recently announced student grant of HKD 2,500 for the 2019/20 academic year, the EDB said that the deadline for submission would be extended by two weeks to February 28.
Read more: EDB Launches Student Grants for 2020