Supporting our students during Home-Based Learning

Published Date: 22 November 2021 09:00 AM

News Forum Letter Replies












We understand the challenges faced by parents, caregivers and students during extended Home-Based Learning (HBL) as mentioned by Mr Huang Fu Yuan ("HBL is not effective", 17 November).

We agree that HBL cannot be a full substitute for school-based learning. Prolonged periods away from school disrupts students' learning, and also affects their social emotional development and mental wellbeing. This is why throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MOE's approach is to keep schools safe and have them remain open as far as possible.

If extended HBL is necessary, schools do their best to still support students to develop holistically. Teachers use online platforms and resources to conduct regular check-ins with students to monitor their well-being and to ensure continuity in their learning. Teachers also take care to provide lesson packages that are engaging and manageable to students.

We are very appreciative of parents and caregivers for supporting their children in HBL. MOE has provided resources, strategies and tips to help them do so. Schools also remain open for high-needs students and those without alternative care-giving arrangements during HBL.

Our educators understand the importance of helping students lead a balanced lifestyle during the pandemic. They are mindful of the need to keep homework load manageable to allow adequate time for them to explore personal interests, bond with their family, and get ample rest. Every school has an established homework policy that addresses such needs, with measures to manage and coordinate the amount of homework given out to students. However, it is challenging for schools to get this balance exactly right for all students, as different students take different amount of time and effort to complete the same piece of homework. We encourage parents and caregivers to provide feedback on homework to the school concerned so that their feedback can be looked into directly.

Despite the challenges and disruptions brought about by the pandemic, we are encouraged to see that many of our students have adjusted well, and become more self-directed and independent in their learning. Schools and educators will continue to work in close partnership with parents and caregivers to ensure that our students continue to learn and grow well in school and at home, despite the COVID-19 disruptions.

Mr Sng Chern Wei
Deputy Director-General of Education (Curriculum),
Ministry of Education

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