More school activities will be allowed to resume from January 2022 onwards, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a Nov. 8 press release.
This comes after Singapore's return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) on July 22, where group activities in schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) were suspended until further notice.
These activities included CCAs, learning journeys, physical education classes, and other mask-off activities such as music and drama classes.
However, now with high vaccination rates among students above the age of 12, schools and IHLs are in a "good position to resume more elements of school life", said the ministry.
The MOE press release followed the Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) announcement on the same day that more activities will be resumed, with a view towards resuming large-scale co-curricular activities safely in the coming school year, as the government feels they are "critical for the nurturing of well-rounded students."
More school activities from Nov. 10, 2021
From Nov. 10, secondary schools, secondary and senior sections of Special Education (SPED) schools, Junior Colleges (JCs), Millennia Institute (MI), and IHLs will be allowed to conduct masked activities in sub-groups of up to five persons, subject to existing Safe Management Measures (SMMs).
In addition, these educational institutes will pilot the resumption of team sports formats to allow a group of up to 10 fully vaccinated persons – including players, umpires, linesmen – to play together.
This will be similar to the community team sports formats pilot run by the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth (MCCY).
Participants will be required to produce a valid negative antigen rapid test (ART) result on-site before each game.
MOE will be reviewing the outcome of these pilots in November and December to prepare for the scaling up of sports activities for 2022.
School plans for 2022
From January 2022, MOE will continue to resume more elements of school life for secondary schools, JCs, and MI like flag-raising ceremonies, assemblies, learning journeys, CCAs, National School Games, and the Singapore Youth Festival.
IHLs will also look to bring back more aspects of campus life with more in-person lessons, student activities, and larger-scale sports events like the POL-ITE games and Inter-Faculty Games.
In the MTF press conference, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said:
"Such activities are important in ensuring the rich learning experiences for our students and their holistic development. So, we believe this is crucial to resume.
For schools, the term is ending soon but it's about preparing for the new school term. IHLs are continuing, so many of these moves will be beneficial to students in IHLs quite soon."
New kindergarten and primary school students
Kindergarten 1 (K1) children in MOE Kindergartens and Primary 1 (P1) students, including those from the primary and junior sections of SPED schools, will report for their first day of school on Jan. 4, 2022.
A parent or guardian will be allowed to accompany their K1 or P1 child to their new school to help them better adjust to the new environment and routines.
The rest of the students – K2 children and P2 to P6 students – will only return to school on Jan. 5, 2022.
"This will better facilitate the safe return of students at the start of the school year and ensure that SMMs can be implemented effectively," said MOE.
The ministry will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation closely and make adjustments where necessary.
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Top image by MOE/FB.