SINGAPORE – Schools will reopen on June 2, but daily classes on school premises will be held only for the graduating cohorts of students in Primary 6, Secondary 4 and 5, who will wear masks or face shields while attending their lessons.
All other students will alternate weekly between home-based learning and classes in school. All student care centres will also open from June 2.
For junior college and Millennia Institute students, half the student body has been given the go-ahead to be back in school at any one time from June 2, with their teachers ensuring that all students, especially the graduating cohorts, have more than adequate face-to-face time with them.
Physical education (PE) lessons will resume, but co-curricular activities (CCAs) will continue to be suspended.
During PE lessons, students and PE teachers will not be required to wear masks when engaged in strenuous physical activities. Ministry of Education (MOE) centres will open for students sitting for national examinations, including language papers.
The MOE, which announced this on Tuesday (May 19), said that when there is a further easing of measures against the coronavirus, possibly in a few weeks’ time, all students will start attending school every day.
All schools will continue with the safety measures that have been further tightened since late January, such as students staying in class groupings, and using fixed exam-style seating and appropriate distancing. Staggered recess times and dismissals, daily temperature-taking and wipe-down routines will continue. Teachers, like their students, will also be subject to the new measure of wearing masks or face shields.
Polytechnic students will continue attending lectures and tutorials online, while Institute of Technical Education students will rotate weekly between online and on-campus lessons. They will return primarily for practical and lab sessions.
Undergraduates from the Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Technology and Design will continue having lectures and tutorials online. Students at the other four autonomous universities are having their vacation.
Speaking at the multi-ministry task force briefing, Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung said that despite strict safety measures being in place, some parents will be worried.
But he said: “All over the world, countries are opening schools in phases, carefully because Covid-19 will be with us for some time. We must be able to regain our lives, while taking all necessary precautions.”
He noted that when the coronavirus took hold early in the year, many countries closed schools, although for some of them, the school year had recently started.
“This affected some students badly and there is some concern over the adverse impact on students who are out of school for several months,” he said, adding that even when his ministry decided to close schools from April 8, it did not take the decision lightly.
Source – The Straits Times