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Occupy movement disrupting education

2014-10-07 08:59 CNTV Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

Hong Kong students are speaking out about how they feel about the ongoing protest and the impact it has had on their life.

This 20-year-old student should be studying now. But the disruptions caused by the Occupy Central protests have distracted him. He's chosen to come out, saying he doesn't want to be part of a silent majority.

"I really hope my fellow students can listen to our voices. At least, they could open their eyes, and TRY to consider different opinions," Augustus Lee, student of Open University of Hong Kong said.

He launched a series of forums in his university, inviting guests to discuss elections in Hong Kong. He says he wants people to express their views through peaceful dialogue.

Lee says the atmosphere in the university is very bad now. He says if you don't agree with the Occupy Central movement and go out onto the street, then they condemn you.

As a result, many students who are against the Occupy Central movement have stayed silent, or don't want to reveal their names.

"I'm from the University of Hong Kong. I've been studying economics and finance for two years now. I've felt a lot of pressure in the university. What the so-called democrats have been doing is against democracy..." a student said.

It's not just university students who are feeling the impact, but school children as well.

Around 160 schools on Hong Kong Island have been closed due to safety concerns since the protest movement grew. Some schools have launched on-line study programs, which were last used during the SARS outbreak in 2003. Other schools have few options to help the students keep up with their studies for the time being.

Some secondary school teachers have expressed concern, asking the students to come back to the campus, where they really belong.

"For secondary students, I'm not saying you can't pursue democracy. I'm saying that if you want to contribute to democracy, you should study well at school to prepare yourself, then you can make efforts for the democracy," Wong Wah Fung, secondary school teacher in HK said.

One university professor warns of possible damage to the rankings of Hong Kong's universities.

"The rankings of HK's universities have declined..." Wei-Ping Wu, Associate professor at HK Baptist University said.

The professor said finance students may find it's hard to find jobs in the future if protests contine to disrupt Hong Kong's economy and damage its financial status.

As for Augustus Lee, he keeps trying to create platforms for students, hoping his fellow students will come back to the campus, and solve problems in a thoughtful and peaceful way.

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