Facing Up to a New-Normal Future
Facing Up to a New-Normal Future

School life has been profoundly affected by the pandemic. CLP has been going out into the community to help children adapt and cope with the impact of COVID-19.

From behind the colourful face shields comes a sound that has sometimes been forgotten in the noise surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic: The joyful crescendo of young children playing and laughing.


“It was incredibly moving to hear the laughter of pupils filling the school playground,” CLP Power’s Chief Corporate Development Office Quince Chong remarks after her visit to Munsang College Kindergarten, one of the 1,000 kindergartens across Hong Kong given face shields by CLP Power prior to class resumption last September, before they were suspended again towards the end of the year. 


The visit came as CLP Power joined a city-wide effort to help Hong Kong rebound from the impact of the virus and to adapt to the reality of living with the pandemic where education for millions of young people has been reshaped by the experience of COVID-19.


A changed learning environment

The lives of children worldwide have been thrown into turmoil by the pandemic. More than one billion children in over 100 countries have had their education disrupted, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation.

POWER FOUR cartoon characters
CLP Power’s popular POWER FOUR cartoon characters were featured on the face shields to add more colour and fun.​

In Hong Kong, around 1.2 million students were affected by school closures – and as they returned to the classroom, they needed support to adapt to a changed learning environment, particularly for the youngest of children aged three to six.


That was why CLP Power provided 200,000 face shields for kindergarten children across the city. The masks feature the company’s popular POWER FOUR cartoon characters to make them more appealing to young children and each mask comes with a card featuring energy-saving and anti-pandemic tips.

Lam Pui Shan, Principal at the Hong Kong Christian Service Pario Kindergarten, says the distribution of the masks was timely. “They provide extra protection for young children and reduce the risk of infection,” she says.


Dr Sanly Kam, a veteran expert in early childhood education and a member of the CLP Education Fund Advisory Committee, describes it as a creative way to care for kindergarten children and says the masks are “a powerful tool to spread a positive message to children and their families as well”.

Visit to Munsang College Kindergarten
CLP Power Chief Corporate Development Officer Quince Chong reads a story to pupils at Munsang College Kindergarten.

An impact on students of all ages

It wasn’t only kindergarten pupils whose education suffered as a result of the virus. Students of all ages felt its impact and teachers struggled too with a survey by the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers finding some 70% of teachers in kindergartens and primary schools expressing anxiety over a perceived lack of support.


When the outbreak was at its peak and schools across the city were closed, CLP Power offered teachers at 85 primary schools free access to online education materials, covering 10 topics including energy consumption and the effects of our ecological footprint to tie with the schools’ General Studies coursework under CLP Power’s Green Elites Campus Accreditation Programme


Audible story books and other audio visual materials in the POWER YOU Kindergarten Education Kit to teach young children about electricity safety and energy conservation were also made accessible through the Power Kid mobile app and Facebook page to help kindergarten teachers and parents carry out online lessons and home learning. 


Bridging the digital divide

As different organisations sought to support school children during class suspensions, the digital divide was a critical hurdle for students from low-income families during the pandemic. A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund suggested at least 31% of students globally were left behind by remote learning because of a lack of computers and internet services.

Computer training workshop for underprivileged families
CLP volunteers help underprivileged families bridge the digital divide.​

To help bridge the gap, CLP Power offered practical assistance by donating used laptops to 40 underprivileged families through the Hong Kong Single Parents Association, just before Hong Kong was hit by the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in the summer. CLP volunteers also provided parents with training in basic computer operations, video conferencing software, and apps to help them communicate better with their children.

Chief Executive of the Association Jessie Yu says parents found the training particularly helpful. “Aside from the laptops that were donated, the customised knowledge for parents shared by CLP volunteers made a big difference and helped families in a very practical way,” she says.