Starting from Wednesday, May 19, all primary, secondary, junior college (JC) and Millennia Institute (MI) students, including students from Special Education (SPED) schools, will shift to full Home-Based Learning (HBL) till end of the term on May 28.
This was announced by the multi ministry task force during a press conference on Sunday evening, May 16.
Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing noted that there are many new strains of the Covid-19 virus, and some of these mutations are more virulent, and they seem to attack the younger children.
He said this is an area of concern for the government.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Education (MOE), preschools and student care centres will remain open to support parents who need to work.
As work-from-home will be the default mode at workplaces, parents are encouraged to keep their children at home during this period where possible.
During the June holidays, schools will allow graduating cohorts to come back in small groups where necessary.
The mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language examinations will proceed as planned and with strict Safe Management Measures in place.
Here is Chan's Facebook post on the situation.
Primary and Secondary Schools, JCs/MI, Special Education Schools
During the full HBL phase, schools will continue to provide instructions and support for students to access a range of both online and hardcopy HBL materials.
Schools will also assist students who may require digital devices or internet access.
Schools will remain open for students who require additional support. In particular, parents working in essential services or are unable to secure alternative care arrangements, may approach their children’s primary schools for assistance.
ECDA is also prepared to waive the requirement for minimum attendance for preschool subsidies, according to MOE.
They are also prepared to waive the requirement for preschools to remain in operation at required hours during this period, if all parents in the preschool decide to keep their children at home.
Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)
The IHLs (including Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and universities) will "reduce campus attendance" by converting more classes to online learning where possible, with the exception of "essential in-person sessions" such as labs, practicals and final year projects, MOE said.
These will continue to be conducted in person with the necessary SMMs in place.
These measures will hold until end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) or further notice.
Tuition and enrichment centres will also shift online or suspend activities
All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes are advised to move activities online till the end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
According to MOE, this is necessary to reduce the intermingling of students from different schools and enhance their safety.
These measures will hold until end of Phase 2 Heightened Alert or further notice.
Top image via Chan Chun Sing/Facebook