Due to the current social situation and safety of the participants, the Association has announced the cancellation of some of the sessions of the 71st Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival originally scheduled from 18 to 27 November 2019.
The Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival is an annual large-scale educational event among the school community with great support received throughout the years. We understand that the participants, parents and schools eagerly anticipate the Speech Festival. Due to the socia1 situation of the last few months, we have been monitoring the development of the situation and also assessing the traffic conditions around the competition venues, in order to decide whether the events can be held safely and smoothly. As the event venues are all around Hong Kong and all the participants are students, with great difficulty, we decided to cancel the sessions for the sake of the safety of our participants and staff members.
The Association has devoted full resources and manpower for the Festival. Even though the sessions were cancelled, the Association has contractual obligation to absorb the expenses for the overall arrangement of the Festival, such as venue hiring, adjudication fees, flight tickets and accommodation for overseas adjudicators and staff remuneration etc. The above indispensable expenses would be absorbed by the entry fees collected. As there were a huge volume of sessions involved and we are bounded by the schedules of the adjudicators and the venues, regrettably rescheduling would not be feasible.
We have thoroughly considered feedbacks from the community and decided to arrange a gratuitous refund for the participants. The details will be announced on 16 December 2019.
We have also noted that since the cancellation, there are events offered to the students whose sessions got cancelled. We would like to draw the attention of participants, parents and schools that those events were not conducted by the Association.
We hope that the participants, parents, schools and the community would understand the challenges we face when coordinating the event in these turbulent weeks and support the Association, while we endeavor to keep the Speech Festival go on if the situation allows. Taking this opportunity, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience the cancellation may have caused.