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To curb Covid-19 spread, 'study break' for Pri 6 pupils before PSLE; 10-day home-based learning for Pri 1-5

SINGAPORE — To forestall a spike in Covid-19 cases before the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), Primary 6 pupils will be put on a study break from Sept 25 to 29, while those from Primary 1 to 5 will be on home-based learning from Sept 27 to Oct 6.

To curb Covid-19 spread, 'study break' for Pri 6 pupils before PSLE; 10-day home-based learning for Pri 1-5

Primary 6 pupils will go on a study break from Sept 25 to 29, 2021, while all pupils from Primary 1 to 5 will be on home-based learning from Sept 27 to Oct 6, 2021.

  • Primary 6 pupils will be put on a study break from Sept 25 to 29 before the PSLE from Sept 30 to Oct 6 
  • All pupils from Primary 1 to 5 will be on home-based learning from Sept 27 to Oct 6
  • These moves are to better protect students who aren’t yet eligible for vaccination against Covid-19 amid a recent spike in cases

 

SINGAPORE — To forestall a spike in Covid-19 cases before the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), Primary 6 pupils will be put on a study break from Sept 25 to 29, while those from Primary 1 to 5 will be on home-based learning from Sept 27 to Oct 6. 

The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced these precautions on Saturday (Sept 18) for primary and special education schools in the lead-up to the written PSLE papers, in light of a recent surge in coronavirus cases in Singapore.

“This will better protect our younger students who are not yet medically eligible for vaccination,” MOE said in a statement. At present, children below 12 cannot be immunised against Covid-19.

The study break for Primary 6 pupils, who will sit the PSLE from Sept 30 to Oct 6, is to minimise the risk of school-based Covid-19 transmission and reduce the number of students issued quarantine orders or leave of absence before the exam. 

This is similar to arrangements for the year-end national exams last year.

Putting all pupils from Primary 1 to 5 on home-based learning from Sept 27 until the end of PSLE was an “added precautionary measure”, said MOE. 

A ministry spokesperson said that this was to avoid the risk of Covid-19 cases in schools just before the PSLE and ensure Primary 6 students are healthy and fit. 

With fewer students, schools will also be more ready for deep cleaning and contact tracing, should the need arise. 

The PSLE, the spokesperson added, will be conducted mostly in classrooms this year, unlike in previous years when school halls could be used for the entire cohort. More classrooms are thus needed. 

“Also, this is not entirely new for some Primary 1 to Primary 5 students in schools with bigger populations. Some schools chose home-based learning last year, as they wanted to thin out noise and activity level,” said MOE’s spokesperson. 

The ministry in its statement said that primary and special education schools would stay open for pupils who need more support during the home-based learning period.  

“MOE Kindergartens, Kindergarten Care Services and Student Care Centres will operate normally. Parents who are unable to work from home or secure alternative care arrangements can approach their children’s schools for assistance,” the ministry added. 

SELF-TESTING BEFORE RETURN

To ensure that pupils return to school safely, MOE is strongly encouraging them to do a Covid-19 antigen rapid self-test at home on these dates: 

  • Primary 6 pupils: On Sept 27 or 28 

  • Primary 1 to 5 pupils: On Oct 4 or 5 

This will allow pupils enough time to go for a confirmatory Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test, if they test positive on the self-test or get two successive invalid results on that test. 

Parents whose child tests positive on the self-test are advised to take their child to a clinic for a PCR test and to tell their child’s school immediately. 

“MOE will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation closely and implement additional measures to keep our school environment safe, where necessary,” it said.

“We urge all students and staff to continue practising good personal hygiene, adhere to safe-management measures and exercise social responsibility.” 

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said that students in Singapore would be taking their national exams amid challenging circumstances.

"Let us all do our part to support them and protect our school community." 

Singapore recorded 935 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, 934 of which were locally transmitted. Daily infections are likely to cross 1,000 soon, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on the same day. 

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MOE schools home-based learning Covid-19 coronavirus

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