New school term in Hong Kong started amid ongoing social disturbance as certain groups incited class boycott. Many educators and parents are concerned and appealed to young students to cherish their opportunities to receive education.
"Cherish your own prospects and do not fail to live up to your parents' and teachers' expectations," Sin Kam-wai, a retired teacher in Hong Kong, said. "If students boycott classes, it means they are wasting social resources and hurting themselves."
The Education Bureau of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government has made it clear that it is firmly against class boycott. Kevin Yeung, secretary for education of the SAR government, said earlier that minors should not be drawn into the whirlpools.
"Class boycott affects school operations and deprive students of their opportunities to study properly," Yeung said, adding that if class boycott is wrongly thought as a way to fight for certain demands, it will continue to happen with far-reaching impacts on schools and students.
"Affections for Hong Kong and the motherland and international perspective should be closely linked together," Ho Hon-kuen, a seasoned educator and chairman of Education Convergence of Hong Kong, said, adding that he hoped that all people in Hong Kong, especially young people can treasure all these elements.
Ho said that class boycott cannot help solve the current situation, and it put immense pressure on teachers and students, and affect peace, friendship and respect in schools.
Before the school term starts, more than 20 educational organizations in Hong Kong jointly issued a declaration to express their worries over class boycott calls. The declaration stressed that schools are places for teaching and learning, and should not be disturbed. They called for educators to take up the responsibility to protect their schools and students.
Ray Wong, a small and medium-sized enterprise employer, said that it is admirable for young people to concern about social issues, but, at the same time, they have to care about their parents' feelings.
"Class boycott will deeply hurt the feelings of your teachers and parents who nurture you," Wong said.
Lo, father of two young children, expressed discontent over people who incited students to boycott class, saying children should be provided a safe environment to study.
Boycotting class will do no good to children as they will miss out the chance to gain new knowledge and learn social skills, Lo added.