Forum Letter Replies

June 01, 2020

MOE: School start times, class sizes all a matter of balance

We thank Ms Sunita Sue Leng for her feedback (Relook class sizes, school start time for new normal, May 28).

MOE has actively implemented safe management measures in schools since the COVID-19 outbreak and strengthened our measures over time, in line with the latest medical advice. From 2 June, we will re-open schools, with even more precautionary measures, including weekly rotation of attendance and tighter health screening.

We have considered reducing class sizes as suggested by Ms Sunita. But that means significantly increasing the number of classes and the teaching load of teachers, which will not be sustainable.

We also looked at school start and dismissal times. We have given schools broad guidelines to start at 7.30am at the earliest. But most schools decided not to start much later – for example, 8.30am – because that means lessons continue later into the afternoon when it gets much warmer, and a later start time also clashes with peak hour traffic.

Liew Wei Li
Deputy Director-General of Education
(Schools), Ministry of Education