HKCCR urges government to allow students to attend graduation ceremonies in response to relaxation of anti-epidemic regulations

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18th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights (HKCCR) expressed today that it’s heartened to see that school children are resuming face-to-face classes after the fifth wave of COVID-19 has substantially receded. As the school year is about to end, many secondary and primary schools, as well as kindergartens are making preparations for their graduation ceremony.

HKCCR mentioned that it has received many enquiries from the public about schools setting COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students to participate in their graduation ceremonies. Since the vaccination requirements for children have been changed only recently, some schools have over one-third of the students without the two vaccinations required to attend the graduation ceremony.

Social distancing measures have been relaxed in recent days and HKCCR urged the government to allow proper seating arrangements at graduation ceremonies where every participant is masked and no refreshment will be served. Given that every student has already been doing rapid antigen tests daily, HKCCR said that this should be sufficient to allow children to safely attend their graduation ceremonies. It urged Education Bureau to clarify on the health guidelines for school graduation ceremony to sooth the anxieties of school children and parents who have received circulars from schools in the recent days.

Children have suffered greatly physically and mentally during the pandemic, especially as they have not been able to attend school or use public parks and leisure facilities over extended periods during this difficult time. Understanding and support from schools and EDB are important for them to overcome these challenges. HKCCR hopes EDB could allow all school children to take part in their graduation ceremony with proper arrangement made.

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