They can only do this if there is an "immediate danger or immediate risk of danger to persons in any school premises". There is no evidence that schools will be any colder than homes. This is not New York, and the Government has panicked and gone beyond its statutory powers.

Government freezes out kindy, primary classes
24 January 2016

After the coldest day in HK in 59 years (according to the Observatory), the HK Government's Education Bureau has ordered a territory-wide "suspension of classes" at kindergartens and primary schools tomorrow, Monday 25-Jan-2016. Can they actually do that? The answer lies in Section 83(1A) of the Education Ordinance, which says:

"(1A) Notwithstanding subsection (1), if it appears to the Permanent Secretary that there is any immediate danger or immediate risk of danger to persons in any school premises due to bad weather, he may, by making public announcements on radio, television or newspapers or by such other means as he thinks fit, suspend the operation of the school in the school premises." (our underline).

Let's get real. Yes, it is just about freezing on high ground, which is exciting for some young HK citizens who have never seen frost, but this is not New York. We are not struggling under 2 feet of snow. There is no "immediate danger" (or "immediate risk of danger", if you like tautologies) of people being unable to get to school or facing blizzards on the way. There is no evidence that classrooms will be colder than homes. If there was, then secondary schools would have to close too. The Government has, once again, panicked and gone beyond its statutory powers, as it did during occupy Central, when it ordered the closure of all schools in Wanchai District and Central & Western District, an area which includes The Peak and schools far removed from the protests in Admiralty.

©, 2016

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