Arrangements for Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning at the End of Circuit Breaker

Published Date: 19 May 2020 12:00 AM

News Press Releases

1. With the end of the Circuit Breaker (CB) period on 1 June 2020, we enter the phase of safe opening. The Ministry of Education (MOE) will progressively bring students back to schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) from 2 June 2020, in a careful and safe manner.

MOE Kindergartens, Primary and Secondary Schools, Pre-Universities and Special Education Schools

Resumption of Classes in Schools

2. 2 Jun 2020 will mark the beginning of Term 3. Primary school, secondary school and Pre-University students will return to school in two phases, with priority given to students from graduating cohorts and students who need additional support:

  1. Phase 1 (for the first few weeks of Term 3 starting on 2 June)
    • For primary and secondary schools, students from graduating cohorts (Primary 6, Secondary 4 and 5) will attend school from Mondays to Fridays. To reduce the number of students in our schools at any one time for better physical distancing, students from other cohorts (Primary 1 to 5 and Secondary 1 to 3) will rotate weekly between Home-Based Learning (HBL) and returning to school for lessons. Please refer to the Annex for the illustrative weekly schedule.
    • For Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute, arrangements will be made for 50% of their students to be back in school at any one time. There will be a system of rotation to ensure that all students have more than adequate face-to-face time with their teachers, particularly the graduating cohorts.
  2. Phase 2 (in tandem with the broader easing at the national level, possibly in a few weeks' time)
    • All students will return to school from Mondays to Fridays.

3. For students from Assumption Pathway School (APS) and NorthLight School (NLS)1, we will stagger their return from 2 June 2020 and allow all students to be back in school by 8 June 2020. This arrangement will enable APS and NLS students to make full use of the school facilities for their learning, which is more hands-on in nature.

4. Given the high level of need of students from SPED schools, we will also stagger their return to school from 2 June 2020 and allow all students to be back in school by 8 June 2020.

5. For MOE Kindergartens, K1 and K2 children will return from 2 June 2020.

Safe Management Measures in Schools

6. Schools will ensure that safe management measures are in place to keep students safe:

  • Daily temperature-taking with additional visual and question screening will continue to be carried out for all students and staff. In addition, students and staff who are unwell, or who have adult household members on home quarantine / Stay Home Notice or have flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough, will be required to stay away from school.
  • Schools will clean high-touch surfaces more frequently and disinfect the premises daily.
  • Students and staff are required to wear their masks or face shields.
  • Students will practise frequent hand-washing throughout the school day and practice wipe down of tables and shared equipment after use.
  • Intermingling across classes and levels will be minimised.
  • There will be fixed exam-style seating in classrooms and spaced seating in canteens or alternative venues.
  • Schools will also stagger arrival, dismissal and recess timings to reduce congestion.

Resumption of Physical Education Lessons

7. To ensure that students remain active and keep healthy, schools will resume Physical Education (PE) lessons when they return to school, with strict adherence to safe management measures. During PE lessons, students and PE teachers will not be required to wear masks when engaged in strenuous physical activities such as running and workouts.

8. Taking into consideration that students may not be sufficiently prepared physically, the National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) this year will be cancelled.

Arrangements for Examinations

9. For the upcoming examination for GCE A-Level H3 subjects on 28 May 2020, and GCE O- and A-Level mid-year Mother Tongue Language (MTL) examinations on 18 to 19 June 2020, schools will also put in place the necessary safe management measures. Candidates will be required to wear masks or face shields during these examinations.

10. To reduce the risk of possible transmission, students on Home Quarantine Order, Stay-Home Notice and Leave of Absence will not be allowed to sit for these examinations. In addition, those who are on medical leave or unwell with flu-like symptoms (such as fever or coughing) will not be allowed to sit for the examinations. They will take the year-end examinations instead. For the examination on H3 subjects taught by Autonomous Universities, there are no year-end examinations. SEAB will apply an established procedure to derive a subject grade for students who miss these examinations due to valid reasons.

Institutes of Higher Learning

11. The IHLs will take the following approach from 2 June 2020:

  • Polytechnics: Lectures and tutorials will remain online. Students will return primarily for practical and lab sessions.
  • Institute of Technical Education: Students will rotate weekly between online and on-campus lessons. They will return primarily for practical and lab sessions.
  • Autonomous Universities: Students from the Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Technology and Design will continue having lectures and tutorials online. They will return primarily for practical and lab sessions, including capstone and final-year projects. The other AUs will be having their vacation.

12. Depending on the national situation, the IHLs will also progressively increase the number of students back on campus at any one time for face-to-face lessons.

Safe Management Measures in IHLS

13. The IHLs will adopt similar measures as schools, to ensure safe management on campus. For example, all persons will be required to check in and out using SafeEntry, when entering or leaving the campus. The start and end timings for lessons will also be staggered. Temperature and symptom screening will also be done at all entrances. To reduce inter-mingling between students on campus, students will be asked to remain in their practical or lab groups, and student activities such as Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) will continue to be suspended until further notice. Students will be required to wear masks at all times.

Private Education Institutions

14. Private Education Institutions (PEIs) offering pre-tertiary and tertiary courses can also allow their students to return, taking reference from the plans and safe management measures for schools and IHLs. The Committee for Private Education under SkillsFuture Singapore will provide more details to the PEIs.

Care Arrangements for Students

15. School-based Student Care Centres and KCare will resume operations from 2 June 2020 for all levels of students in primary schools and MOE Kindergartens, with fixed groupings and required standards of hygiene. Parents who are unable to secure alternative care arrangements during HBL days may approach their children's primary school or SPED school for assistance.

MOE Centre-Based Lessons, Self-Help Group Activities, Private Tuition and Enrichment

16. MOE centre-based lessons (please refer to the Annex for the types of MOE centres) will resume for graduating cohorts from 2 June 2020, with additional safe management measures in place. This includes Secondary 3 Higher MTL students who take the O-Level MTL paper. Other cohorts will continue with HBL until further notice.

17. Self-Help Group enrichment activities, as well as private tuition and enrichment, will remain suspended until further notice.

Alternative Ways to Conduct Co-Curricular Activities

18. Although mass physical gatherings will continue to be suspended, to gradually bring back other essential elements of school experiences such as CCAs, schools may explore the following options:

  • eCCAs, which can be conducted by coaches, instructors or CCA teachers using digital means.
  • Class-Based Student Development Programmes, which can be conducted face-to-face on an elective basis during or after curriculum hours, either by existing CCA instructors or vendors that schools can tap on from a list curated by MOE. Students will remain in their class groupings for the programmes.

Cancellation of National School Games

19. All National School Games competitions for 2020 will be cancelled, as there is insufficient time to complete the season within the school calendar. In addition, students would not be adequately prepared for the competitions due to lack of training.

20. MOE will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and provide the necessary support to our schools, educators and students, as they gradually resume lessons. We will also respond accordingly in the weeks and months ahead and announce further updates if required, as the national posture evolves.

  1. APS and NLS are Specialised Schools which provide a hands-on, practice-based curriculum for students culminating in an ITE Skills Certificate.
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