HBL a 'last resort', not all children have conducive environments for it: Chan Chun Sing

A prolonged HBL period could 'negatively impact' the academic progress and socio-emotional well-being of many students, Chan said.

Lean Jinghui | October 07, 2021, 05:43 PM

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Following the announcement of the gradual resumption of physical classes for primary school students, Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing reiterated that Home-Based Learning (HBL) must only be used as a last resort, in a targeted manner.

In a Facebook post on Oct. 7, Chan wrote that he was aware of the dilemma faced by parents and educators, in deciding between to resume classes, or extend HBL.

However, "not all children necessarily have conducive environments for HBL" learning.

In addition, a prolonged HBL period could "negatively impact" the academic progress and socio-emotional well-being of many students', Chan added.

Learning to live with the virus

Chan wrote that learning to live with the virus, which will be around for some time, and minimising its impact on one's life, will be needed.

"We want to keep our children safe. We want to take care of their academic and socio-emotional development holistically. We want to do all this in a safe and sustainable way."

He added that while the Government understands the challenges faced by families and educators juggling between work and childcare during HBL, there is a need to support higher needs students and families.

Allowing students to resume in-person lessons and face-to-face learning will help them reconnect with their peers for their socio-emotional development, said Chan.

Phased return

The return to physical schooling will thus be done in phases, so that teachers and school staff can better ensure that safe management measures are implemented effectively, Chan added.

Student care centres will still be opened during HBL and PSLE marking period.

Parents who require help can also approach the primary schools.

Chan wrote:

"The evolving Covid-19 situation has been tremendously challenging for educators and families alike [...] Let us continue to support one another, as we take care of our students together.

We look forward to vaccinating our school children soonest possible when the vaccines are approved for use and available to us."

You can find the full post here:

MOE announces school return

All Primary and Special Education (SPED) school students had earlier been placed on HBL from Sep. 27, to minimise the risk of school-based transmissions amid a spike in Covid-19 cases.

On Oct. 7, MOE announced the phased return of primary school students from next Monday, Oct. 11.

Primary 3 to 6 students will be allowed to return to school for face-to-face lessons from Oct. 11, while Primary 1 and 2 students will continue with HBL on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, before returning to school on Oct. 13.

SPED schools will be provided with more details on the phased return of students.

The year-end examinations for Primary 3 and 4 students will also be cancelled, to allow more time for curriculum recovery due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19.

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Top image via Chan Chun Sing Facebook