Hong Kong’s needy pupils sidelined by online learning one year since Covid-19 class suspension

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Siblings “May” and “Ben” are among many underprivileged pupils in Hong Kong who have suffered as a result of the suspension of face-to-face lessons during the Covid-19 pandemic. Restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus forced city authorities to halt in-person learning for more than 6 months starting in early February 2020. Many schools have been forced to turn to remote learning, but such arrangements are not easy for nine-year-old May and eight-year-old Ben, according to their mother Jing who used pseudonyms for the children so she could speak freely. The Primary Four and Primary Three students share a learning space in the 150 sq ft (14 sq m) subdivided flat and rely on second-hand iPads with poor internet connections using mobile data to attend online classes. Their strongest wish is to be able to join classes at school again.

(Photo: K. Y. Cheng)

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  1. May 8, 2021

    Cool virus propaganda. I think the human race surviving is a bit more important than like 5% of the human race.

  2. May 8, 2021
    Cream 09

    I’m very lucky to have decent WiFi and everything, but holy smokes, there’s only 4 months of school left and I haven’t learnt a thing with this online stuff. In fact, I’ve probably regressed in some subjects.

  3. May 8, 2021

    My only one question is: why are they wearing masks in their home

  4. May 8, 2021
    Pauline Dela Cueva

    I’m a preschool teacher and we’re currently doing online learning too. My students range from 3-4. Their capacity to stay focused, listen and interact with the teacher and their classmates takes up a lot of their energy. They struggle to stay engaged. At the beginning it was fine but as it got longer, they grew weary of it. I feel sad hearing one of my students say that she doesn’t want to see me anymore yet I also understand her feelings. It’s a very hard time for both teachers and students. Hoping that we could slowly get back to school in an efficient and safe way for all.

  5. May 8, 2021
    Mehzabin Hossain

    Dude my school is closed for more than a year

  6. May 8, 2021

    I wanna help and teach kids

  7. May 8, 2021
    Stephanie Chen

    i am feeling so poor to little girl May and lito boy Ben for learning difficulty .
    However, I am not really understand why their parents insist to staying in Hong Kong ,they do not have any healthy financial indeed.
    Literally , Kids can be growing up much better if they are living in theirs born city instead of hong kong .

  8. May 8, 2021
    B B

    This advertisement is very fake. This particular scenario only happens to foreign worker family from Mainland China, not local HK real citizens. This case happens around the world with foreign workers. They are considered too fortunate to still get nice food, schooling, tablets and many other benefits while too many children in the world were still suffering from nothing to eat.

  9. May 8, 2021

    Idk y ppl have kids,
    even thy don't have enough money for buying a new tab

  10. May 8, 2021

    online learning is so hectic and so inefficient

  11. May 8, 2021
    P. Chan

    It's the same story every where. This pandemic really brings to the fore between the haves and the have-nots. Many places still do not have Internet connection, let alone the gadgets.

  12. May 8, 2021
    Hoi Fei Kwok

    Consider the relative low number of cases in Hong Kong and that children rarely get seriously ill with covid, it makes no sense to close schools in Hong Kong. Ironically, they did not close the restaurants and workplaces, which have a higher risk of spreading the disease and lower chance of being able to trace contacts. Schools can be open safely as it is easy to track cases. It just doesn't make sense.

  13. May 8, 2021
    •Mxnxhil Revxs•

    That's why I bought a iPad for online classes with an apple pencil so I can learn better cuz my parents care that I learn btw I make vids🥺

  14. May 8, 2021

    0:41 why am I hearing Mandarin from the tablet? I thought Hongkong only speak Cantonese

  15. May 8, 2021

    Teach from real life experiences. When cooking use math to divide the ingredients. Cleaning, use critical thinking and observation to get them questioning things. Music can help tremendously with math! Gardening is awesome for science. A

  16. May 8, 2021
    Ben X

    This is so sad

  17. May 8, 2021
    Bookish Cat


  18. Sorry for being here but I badly need your compassion. 🙏 Do you have an extra $1? Saving to get a working laptop – to start a homebased job. No more opportunity outside. Swear, I am not a bad person. Lost so much since 2020.

  19. May 8, 2021

    The Boy is Very Bright. Happy New Year, my little friend. Thank You for speaking up. Future is watching for you. Sincerely,❤,❤,❤

  20. May 8, 2021
    Lawrence Orr

    I know it’s the boring response, but all you can do is keep working at everything, it’s the same for kids in Britain , there is no alternative to try to keep up with your studies. Unfortunately the world just keeps changing the tech that gives us this infrastructure that some of us have, we keep up, or we fall behind. I wish you all the luck in the would, young people have never had it so hard.

  21. May 8, 2021


  22. May 8, 2021
    Xinna SinPatria

    It is the same story here in Mexico we have almost a year taking online classes, even it is worse in most cases, as there are large families who cannot buy even a second-hand device.

  23. May 8, 2021
    Pankaja Lakshmi

    At least I could use mom's phone but there kid of my age in our area who can't even afford to have 3 meals a day due to hit of pandemic on the employment of their parents

  24. May 8, 2021
    andrew sparks

    When the little boy said 'aiya' at 3:12 I chucked.

  25. May 8, 2021
    Shiba Musanna

    In India some poor don't even mobile data to access

  26. May 8, 2021
    1C (12) KAUR ASHMEET

    Once I was disconnected from my online lesson because of a sudden bad Internet connection, my class teacher asked me why, but she couldn't hear me clearly. She told me to be on time though I was the first one to come in. I felt so bad 😔

  27. May 8, 2021

    SCMP, please start a donation drive. I have two tablets I no longer use and they work perfectly fine. I'd give my current tablet up too because I can do everything on my phone.

  28. May 8, 2021
    JiMin Hyung

    Same here in the Philippines because of pandemic many students are getting lazy to study and many students also don't have any gadgets to use cause they can't afford.

  29. Never fear! Once the CCP starts their new indoctrination education program for Hong Kong, a student will no longer need a brain to think with!

  30. May 8, 2021
    Louis Manlosa

    Online Class is a No
    Online Work is a Yes

  31. May 8, 2021
    Ojay Is Ojay

    Disparities hurt equally no matter where on the planet they appear. Hope things get better for these tots.

  32. May 8, 2021
    Hải Vincent


  33. May 8, 2021

    And there are people like me who can only study in collage library cuz there are more distractions at home🙄

  34. May 8, 2021
    Cby 0530

    Makes some of us feel really fortunate.

  35. May 8, 2021
    Marianna Csernák

    Mit mondott ISTEN ?
    Teremtek Embert a saját képmásomra.
    A világ sajnos egy monitorral beszélget.
    Szegény gyerekek robotok lesznek.
    A számítógép robotai .

  36. May 8, 2021

    I'm watching this while attending my online lectures…………

  37. May 8, 2021
    Jackal Chung

    I feel for these kids my cosuin he have zoom lessons as well and he have the same issue with these kids when your camera is off the teacher will say your playing but the teacher is not sure are you playing or not and I asked him you would rather go to school or do zoom he said he rather go to school so I said school will return very soon!!!!!

  38. May 8, 2021

    Very nice


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