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Strengthening Safe Management Measures in Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning

Published Date: 04 May 2021 08:00 PM

News Press Releases

1. In line with the Phase 3 – Heightened Alert national stance from 8 May 2021 to 30 May 2021, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will enhance current safe management measures (SMMs) in MOE Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, Special Education (SPED) schools, Junior Colleges, Millennia Institute and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) for the continued safety and well-being of students and staff.

2. The latest measures aim to reduce intermingling of students across schools/institutions and minimise external activities, while ensuring that teaching and learning continue. These measures include:

  • Exam-style fixed classroom seating for schools;
  • Reduction of group size across activities from eight to five persons;
  • Reduction of overall capacity for all activities, including lectures, to a maximum of 50 persons; and
  • Suspension of activities conducted in public spaces, e.g. learning journeys.

Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning

3. These measures will apply on top of the existing SMMs on safe distancing, screening and hygiene in our education institutions (please refer to Annex for details). School-based activities such as Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and after-school care arrangements will continue, subject to the tightened SMMs. Both school-based mid-year assessments and the mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language (MTL) Examinations will proceed. However, other external activities such as external CCAs will be suspended during this period.

4. To minimise intermingling of students across schools/institutions, the remaining National School Games (NSG) competitions will be suspended. We will monitor the situation and explore resumption of the remaining competitions when conditions permit.

5. In addition, applications for the 2021 Direct School Admission (DSA) exercises will open from 5 May 2021 and the selection process will be conducted via electronic means. The selection for the upcoming polytechnic and ITE Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) will also be conducted largely via electronic means such as online interviews, or portfolio submissions over e-mail.

6. IHLs will adopt similar tightening of SMMs during the same period, such as keeping in-person class and lecture sizes to no more than 50 persons and conducting other larger classes and lectures online. Internships and work attachments will continue, with students adhering to the prevailing SMMs at the organisations they are attached with. In light of the tightened SMMs, polytechnic graduation ceremonies from 8 May will be converted to virtual ceremonies.

Private Education Institutions and Other Educational Entities

7. Private Education Institutions (PEIs) offering pre-tertiary and tertiary courses, as well as private tuition and enrichment classes should follow the tightened national SMMs. In addition, PEIs may wish to take reference from the plans and safe management measures for schools and IHLs, and decide if they wish to adopt similar tightened measures over and above the national SMMs.

Implementation of TraceTogether-Only SafeEntry

8. In tandem with the national roll-out, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be implemented in schools/institutions from 17 May 2021. Students should have their TT token or app with them throughout the school day to facilitate accurate contact tracing, should the need arise. Visitors and staff must check in using their TT token or app to be allowed entry into schools/institutions and must have their TT token or app with them throughout.

9. MOE will continue working with schools and institutions to ensure the implementation of all necessary SMMs to ensure the continued safety and well-being of our students and staff. It remains crucial that all students and staff continue to adhere to screening measures and practise good personal hygiene. We strongly urge parents and students to play their part by continuing to be socially responsible. If feeling unwell, students and staff should seek medical attention immediately, and not come to school or IHL campuses.

10. MOE will continue to monitor the situation closely and make adjustments in accordance with the national posture.