HONG KONG - The Education Bureau should take the initiative to handle a class boycott planned citywide to alleviate the pressure exerted on schools, Hong Kong’s largest political party said after a meeting with the city’s Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung on Thursday.
The meeting was held to discuss ways to cope with the school boycott starting Sept 2 initiated by localist party Demosisto and some student groups. The organizers called on all secondary students to skip lessons once every week after the new academic year begins.
Briefing the media about the meeting, members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) said schools currently played the key role in handling the class boycott while the Education Bureau only intervened upon requests from schools or parents.
The party suggested that the bureau should take a more proactive approach on tackling the issue to alleviate pressure on schools. The DAB suggested the setting up of a hotline by the bureau to offer assistance and receive complaints. On-campus emotional support for students and teachers is also necessary, said the party.
The DAB also appealed to the Education Bureau to suspend teachers being investigated for bullying, discrimination or making provocative remarks.
The DAB said it launched an anti-strike campaign Thursday morning to set up street stands across the city to spread anti-strike messages and offer assistance to parents and students in need.
Also on Thursday, the New Territories School Heads Association appealed to principals and teachers to firmly oppose the school boycott and stick to their posts.
In a statement, the association expressed the hope for a peaceful school environment free from politics.
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