Primary school pupils to return to school progressively from Oct 11; year-end exams for Pri 3 and 4 cancelled
SINGAPORE — Primary school pupils will return to school for face-to-face lessons progressively from next week, and the year-end examinations for Primary 3 and 4 students will be cancelled, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (Oct 7).
- Pupils from Primary 3 to 6 will return to school from Oct 11
- Pri 1 and 2 students will continue with home-based learning and return only from Oct 13
- Pupils from primary and special education schools have been on home-based learning from Sept 27 to Oct 7
- Year-end exams for Pri 3 and 4 students will be cancelled, but those for Pri 5 pupils will proceed with strict infection controls
SINGAPORE — Primary school students will return to school for face-to-face lessons progressively from next week, and the year-end examinations for Primary 3 and 4 students will be cancelled, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (Oct 7).
The cancellation of the exams will allow "more time for curriculum recovery due to disruptions brought about by Covid-19", MOE said in a statement.
Year-end exams for Primary 5 pupils will, however, still proceed under strict Covid-19 infection controls.
This will allow students and parents to develop a better understanding of students’ learning progress in relation to the new Achievement Level scoring system, before taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) next year.
MOE’s announcement came after Primary 6 pupils were put on a study break from Sept 25 to 29, while those from Primary 1 to 5 moved to home-based learning from Sept 27 to Oct 6, to forestall a spike in Covid-19 cases before this year’s PSLE.
This was later extended by a day until Oct 7.
Oct 8 is Children’s Day, a holiday for primary school students.
MOE said on Thursday that pupils from Primary 3 to 6 would start going back to their schools from Monday next week, and Primary 1 and 2 students would continue with home-based learning and return only next Wednesday.
This, the ministry said, is to ensure physical schooling resumes safely and is in line with its approach to minimise prolonged home-based learning, where possible, for the "socio-emotional well-being of students".
The phased return is to ensure that infection controls can be rolled out effectively.
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said that the return to in-person classes was to allow students to resume face-to-face learning with their peers and reconnect for their socio-emotional development.
“Not all children necessarily have conducive environments for home-based learning. Prolonged home-based learning can also negatively impact many students’ academic progress and socio-emotional well-being,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
“Home-based learning must thus only be a last resort, to be used in a targeted manner.”
Parents of Primary 1 to 5 pupils are to perform a Covid-19 antigen rapid self-test on their children at home on Friday or Saturday before they return to school next week and report the results through a link that will be sent to them.
Although the year-end exams have been cancelled for Primary 3 and 4 pupils, MOE said that schools would use a range of school assessments done throughout the year to provide feedback and make recommendations on students’ subject combinations.
MOE added that it would provide special education schools with more details about the phased return of students.
This year’s PSLE marking exercise will be carried out over four days, from Oct 18 to 21.
In line with current practice, primary school students will not be required to report to school during this period of marking, and there will be no home-based learning conducted.
The day after the PSLE marking exercise, Oct 22, will be declared a school holiday for primary schools. All primary school pupils will thus return to school from Oct 25.
In step with the return of students to primary schools, face-to-face lessons for students aged 12 and below at tuition and enrichment centres may also resume from next Monday, with strict infection controls.
“However, MOE strongly encourages centres to continue conducting these classes online as much as possible,” it said.
Face-to-face classes for students aged 12 and below in private schools may also resume from Monday.
Co-curricular activities and other after-school activities will continue to be suspended for all levels, including at secondary schools, junior colleges and the Millennia Institute.
Mr Chan said that the evolving Covid-19 situation has been tremendously challenging for educators and families alike.
“We look forward to vaccinating our schoolchildren soonest possible when the vaccines are approved for use and available to us.”