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School holidays brought forward to start on May 5, lessons to resume on June 2: MOE

SINGAPORE — The four-week June school holidays will be brought forward to start May 5 for all students up till the pre-university level, with lessons due to resume on June 2.

The four-week June school holidays will be brought forward to start May 5 for all students up till the pre-university level, with lessons due to resume on June 2.

The four-week June school holidays will be brought forward to start May 5 for all students up till the pre-university level, with lessons due to resume on June 2.

SINGAPORE — The four-week June school holidays will be brought forward to start May 5 for all students up till the pre-university level, with lessons due to resume on June 2.

Although this means that Term Three will now be longer for these students, they will have a one-week mid-term break from July 20 to 26. These details were announced by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) in a joint-statement on Tuesday (April 21).

They came hours after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the circuit breaker measures to retrict movement of people — which were originally slated to end on May 4 — will be extended until June 1.

MOE and SEAB said that while home-based learning has been going well, it has been an “intense period of hard work and adjustment” for parents, students and teachers.

“An early June holiday will give everyone a respite. It also buys us time for a less restrictive school opening in June,” they added. 

Writing on Facebook, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said that home-based learning was a steep learning curve for everyone. “But it is better not to extend the home-based learning. (It) is a fall-back when schools are suspended; it cannot be a prolonged substitute for school. It is better to let everyone have a break from this intense period.”

He added: “By June 1, hopefully the situation will be much better, and we can look forward to a safe and orderly opening of schools.”

The latest adjustments will apply to all MOE kindergartens, primary, secondary and pre-university students, including students from special education schools.

Institutes of higher learning will continue with their home-based learning from May 5 to June 1:

  • Students from polytechnics will continue with full home-based learning for the entire duration.

  • Students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will continue with full home-based learning until May 8. Thereafter, they will be on holiday from May 9 to June 1.

  • Students from the Singapore Institute of Technology and some students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design will be starting their school term on May 18 in full home-based learning.

  • Other autonomous universities will be having their holidays. Those offering a summer term will conduct all classes online.

MOE and SEAB said that parents working in essential services including healthcare and who are also unable to secure alternative care arrangements, may continue to approach their children’s primary school, MOE kindergarten or special education school for assistance during the school holidays.

These support services, which have been in place during the e-learning period, will continue to be offered.

Private education institutions should either continue with their home-based learning arrangements, or suspend classes otherwise.

EXAMINATIONS

MOE and SEAB also said that the GCE-Level mother tongue language examinations will be rescheduled.

  • The O- and A-Level mother tongue language (Papers 1 and 2) will be held on June 18 instead of June 1

  • The O- and A-Level mother tongue language B (Papers 1 and 2) will be held on June 19 instead of June 2

  • The listening comprehension for O-Level mother tongue language and mother tongue language B will be rescheduled from July 21 to July 27

  • The listening comprehension for A-Level mother tongue language and mother tongue language B will be rescheduled from July 22 to July 27

MOE and SEAB said that “in light of the impact that the extended circuit breaker period has on curriculum time and to further allay students’ concerns and anxiety about catching up with the curriculum”, the Common Last Topics will be removed from the national examinations this year.

The Common Last Topics is a set of topics from a syllabus identified by MOE that would be taught last by all schools towards the end of the academic year.

Mr Ong said that some of these topics are pie charts and volume for mathematics at the Primary School Leaving Examination, organic chemistry for O-Level chemistry and vectors for O-Level mathematics.

“This will reduce the curriculum load and ease the pressure off teachers and students in catching up with the curriculum. Just to be clear, as far as possible, these topics will still be taught. But they will not appear as questions in the national examinations,” he added. 

Mr Ong noted that it has been a “topsy-turvy few months as the health situation has been very fluid and uncertain”. 

“I thank everyone for your hard work and co-operation. We shall overcome the virus,” he said.

“And to all our students, I am very sorry, but bubble tea shops will be closed,” he quipped, referring to the Government’s announcement that it will shut more non-critical businesses, including standalone bubble tea outlets.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus Ong Ye Kung exams School Holidays MOE

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