Most of the IMC constitutions require the IMC to meet at least three times in a school year. The “Legislative Requirements Related to the Operation of IMCs – Key Reminders” which is provided by the EDB further elaborates that only IMC members attending a meeting in person shall be considered as present. Participation in a meeting by telephone, video conferencing or other electronic means is not accepted because it might incur legal liabilities associated with school managers' absence from a meeting while there are provisions in the Education Ordinance with the term “present”.
Nevertheless, it is understandable that IMC members may have concerns about the attendance of meetings during the epidemic, the failure in achieving the required number of meetings, and the genuine needs of handling pressing issues with time constraints. Since we are now in a crucial stage of virus fight, which requires the cooperation of all members of the public in reducing social contact and hence the risk of spreading COVID-19 virus in the community, it is agreeable that under such extraordinary circumstances, schools can flexibly make arrangements after an overall assessment of their situations. For instance, they may consider postponing regular IMC meetings; discussing pressing issues by video conferencing and endorsing relevant records through circulation; or passing resolutions on urgent matters by means of circulation of papers and so on.
If IMCs opt to conduct a meeting by telephone, video conferencing or other electronic means after due consideration, all salient points should be carefully taken down and the discussion record together with any resolution should be confirmed by circulation of papers. When conducting meetings through electronic means and then confirming the resolutions through circulation of papers, IMCs should read relevant provisions of the Education Ordinance and their constitutions for the respective requirements, in particular those stipulating what kinds of matters could not be resolved by circulation of papers.