Starting school later to allow students to sleep more

Published Date: 03 July 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, Tanjong Pagar GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) whether the Ministry will consider starting schools at 8.30am or later in consideration of the biological changes in the sleep cycles of teenagers and the long term health benefits, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and local health institutions.

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye, Tanjong Pagar GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) whether the Ministry will consider encouraging more schools to start classes later following the recent sleep studies conducted by the Duke-NUS Medical School and Nanyang Girls’ High School.

Response

1. The preliminary findings from the Duke-NUS Medical School researchers showed that there was a marginal increase of only about 20 minutes of sleep despite a 45-minute delay in school start time. Surveys show that many Singapore students spend time on social media and other online activities before going to bed.

2. Therefore MOE has incorporated the knowledge of sleep hygiene, and self-management skills into the Primary School Physical Education curriculum since 2014. Education on the importance of sleep and good sleep habits will also be incorporated into the Secondary School Physical Education curriculum. Parents play a key role in inculcating good sleeping habits and routines in their children from a young age. MOE will also continue to work with schools to monitor the curriculum and homework load.

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