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Schools, institutes of higher learning to remain open with tightened Covid-19 safety measures: MOE

SINGAPORE — From next Monday (May 17), all schools and institutes of higher learning will continue operations with tightened safe management measures, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Friday.

All students and staff members must wear masks, and not face shields, when in school and on campus, unless they are not able to due to special needs or medical conditions, the Ministry of Education said.

All students and staff members must wear masks, and not face shields, when in school and on campus, unless they are not able to due to special needs or medical conditions, the Ministry of Education said.

  • MOE said all schools and institutes of higher learning will continue operations 
  • School-based mid-year assessments will go ahead
  • The mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language Examinations will also proceed
  • Private tuition and enrichment centres may continue operating but urged to consider online lessons as default arrangement 

 

SINGAPORE — From next Monday (May 17), all schools and institutes of higher learning will continue operations with tightened safe management measures, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Friday.  

In line with stricter rules announced by the Government under Phase 2 (heightened alert) to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the community, MOE said that the schools and institutes of higher learning will be required to implement these measures:

  • All students and staff members must wear masks, and not face shields, when in school and on campus, unless they are not able to due to special needs or medical conditions

  • To reduce intermingling of students, classes will be strictly cohortised, with lectures capped at 50 persons. Group size across all activities will be reduced from five to two persons, with safe management measures in place

  • Centre-based classes will be conducted online

  • All co-curricular activities (CCAs) will be reformatted and conducted online

  • Other external activities such as external CCAs will remain suspended during this period

  • In-person events will be suspended. All large-scale events will continue to be cancelled or postponed, or held virtually, if possible

 

Amid the rise in community cases, there have been recent cases of Covid-19 detected among students in several schools including Yio Chu Kang Primary. However, Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who also co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19, said on Friday there is no evidence of transmission within schools so far.  

The 24 new community Covid-19 cases reported on Friday included five primary school students — two from St Stephen’s School, two from Kong Hwa School and one from St Andrew’s Junior School. These pupils are linked to a tutor at Learning Point located at Parkway Centre. The tutor had tested positive earlier. 

Responding to media queries on the latest cases, MOE said it was investigating and "more details will be shared when ready".

On the tightened measures, MOE said schools will also enforce fixed seating with 1m spacing for recess, with no intermingling.  

School-based activities and after-school care arrangements will continue, subject to the tightened safe management measures. 

Both school-based mid-year assessments and the mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language examinations will proceed. Examinations will be held in the classrooms with safe distancing measures, MOE said. 

It reiterated that face shields “should not be used as a substitute for mask wear, except for medical exceptions or where the child is 12 years or younger”.

For the institutes of higher learning, they will continue to keep in-person class and lecture sizes to no more than 50 persons. Other larger classes and lectures are to be conducted online. 

Dining in canteens and dining halls at these institutes can continue operations with the necessary safe management measures, given that students and staff members are on campuses for a longer period of time, MOE said. 

Examinations will be reformatted and conducted in classrooms with a maximum class size of 50 persons. “Where practicable, institutes of higher learning will conduct examinations online. Internships and work attachments will continue, with students adhering to the prevailing safe management measures at the organisations they are attached with,” it added.

Private education institutions offering pre-tertiary and tertiary courses must follow the tightened national measures. 

These institutions “should also take reference from the plans and safe management measures for schools and institutes of higher learning, and are encouraged to adopt tighter measures aligned to their respective institutional setting”, MOE said. 

Private tuition and enrichment centres may continue operating. However, “they are encouraged to consider online lessons as the default arrangement during this period of heightened risk”, it added.

Should in-person classes continue, the centres must “comply strictly” with the national safe management measures including stepped-up screening for staff members and students, so that those who are unwell do not attend lessons.

The students at the centres must also maintain safe distancing of at least 1m from others and refrain from interacting.

“If some interaction is unavoidable, they must remain in pairs, with each pair maintaining a distance of at least 1m (preferably 2m) from other groups, with no mixing between groups,” MOE said, adding that in-person singing and wind instrument classes will be suspended. 

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schools Covid-19 safe management measures MOE

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