Most schools in Hong Kong are close to roadside pollution. This constantly exposes children to high air pollution levels throughout the course of their daily commute, education, and leisure activities. Exposing children to unsafe pollution levels early in life can cause them a “life sentence” of illness.
To improve air quality of schools, CAN in collaboration with HKUST(IENV) launched the project Clean Air Schools for Hong Kong in Feb 2022. Through this project we are taking the step to build an air quality data collection infrastructure where professional outdoor and indoor air quality monitors will be set up at each school, in the districts of Tuen Mun and Sham Shui Po. According to Air Quality Review 2021, Sham Shui Po and Tuen Mun have higher air pollution levels than other districts. By making use of air quality monitors, we hope to visualize the health risk caused by air pollution and help the schools to make informed decisions when the air quality around the schools worsens.
Furthermore, a range of professionally designed environmental educational activities or curriculum would be provided in the Project to support development of STEM / STEAM teaching, providing resources for teachers to talk about the issue of air pollution in their classrooms.
The project will be executed in 3 phases.
Phase 1 will include air monitoring in 8 primary schools for a 15-month period.
In Phase 2, the project will be extended to 20 schools in 5 surrounding districts of Tuen Mun and Sham Shui Po.
In Phase 3, we hope to progressively move towards the direction of equipping all primary schools in Hong Kong with air quality monitors. Through data and education, CAN will provide a comprehensive picture to the government (Education Bureau, Environmental Protection Department and Environmental Bureau) and urge it to extend the air monitoring network to all primary schools in Hong Kong. With experience gathered from Phase 1 and 2, CAN will be taking a proactive role in Phase 3 in educating schools and communities on air pollution as well as encouraging behaviour change in schools and communities.