Suspension of In-Person Private Tuition and Enrichment for Students Aged 18 and Younger from 19 May 2021 to 13 Jun 2021

Published Date: 25 August 2021 10:45 AM

News Press Releases

The Ministry of Education announced on 16 May 2021 that centre-based private tuition and enrichment would be suspended for students aged 18 and younger from 19 May 2021 to 13 Jun 2021 (both dates inclusive), under the Phase Two (Heightened Alert) national stance.

Suspension of In-Person Private Tuition and Enrichment

2. All organisations and individuals offering tuition and enrichment activities, whether academic or non-academic, must shift their lessons for students aged 18 and younger online from 19 May 2021 to 13 June 2021 (both dates inclusive) or otherwise suspend these lessons during this period. This includes but is not limited to education and development support activities, arts and culture classes and workshops, religious classes, as well as sports and physical activity classes and programmes. The decision to suspend in-person classes is due to the higher risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the intermingling of students from different schools, and to avoid interactions between tutors and students. This is also in line with schools' move to shift to full Home-Based Learning during this period.

3. The above applies to all organisations and individuals (including centre-based classes, home-based businesses, as well as one-on-one classes) except for the following, which may continue on-premise instruction, subject to prevailing safe management measures:

  1. MOE-registered Foreign System Kindergartens;
  2. Organisations providing full-time pre-tertiary education to students age 18 and below that leads to a qualification, i.e. Private Education Institutions (PEIs) registered with the Committee for Private Education and Privately-funded Schools (PFSs) 1. Nonetheless, MOE would strongly encourage these organisations to shift lessons online;
  3. For pre-school children (aged 0-6), organisations and individuals providing learning interventions provided by therapists regulated by the Allied Health Professions Council, or Early Intervention (EI) centres funded by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)2, in compliance with ECDA’s guidelines for EI services;
  4. Organisations and individuals providing consultation and assessment services for students aged 7 to 18 with special educational needs or disabilities provided by therapists regulated by the Allied Health Professions Council or psychologists registered with the Singapore Psychological Society’s Register of Psychologists in alignment with MOH guidelines on healthcare services; and
  5. Organisations and individuals when providing outdoor one-on-one (one coach to one student/trainee) sport or physical activity classes and programmes.

4. For avoidance of doubt, Early Childhood Development Centres licensed by ECDA, and student care centres may continue to provide care to children, subject to all prevailing safe management measures. On-premise instruction provided in the course of this care will be permitted. Please refer to the advisory on Student Care Centres available on the Sector-Specific Requirements on the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/sector)

5. Classes catering exclusively to students older than 18 years old may continue in person, subject to all prevailing safe management measures. For centres that cater to both school-going children and adults, lessons for those aged 18 and younger should shift online or otherwise be suspended, while lessons for those above 18 years old can continue in person.

6. Centres catering to students older than 18 years old do not need to apply for a business exemption.

Workforce Arrangements for Suspension of Classes for Students Aged 18 or Younger

7. With regard to the suspension of classes for students aged 18 or younger, tuition and enrichment centres must ensure that work-from-home is the default arrangement for employees who are able to do so. For employees who must return to the workplace (e.g. to maintain critical IT functions), tuition and enrichment centres are required to abide by all prevailing safe management measures for workplaces issued on 9 May 2020. These include health checks, the use of SafeEntry to support contact tracing for all employees, wearing of masks at all times and regular cleaning of common facilities and high-touch areas. Details are available at the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/general).

Safe Management Measures in Centres with On-Premise Instruction

8. To reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19, centres with on-premise instruction are required to abide by the nationwide safe management measures for workplaces issued on 9 May 2020. These include health checks, the use of SafeEntry to support contact tracing for all employees, students and other visitors (please refer to Para 19), wearing of masks at all times, and regular cleaning of common facilities and high-touch areas. Centres must also ensure that work-from-home is the default arrangement for employees who are able to do so. Details are available at the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/general).

Safe Management Measures for Centres Allowed to Continue On-Premise Instruction

9. For centres which are allowed to continue on-premise instruction, they are expected to observe all the following measures in classrooms and other areas accessed by students:

  1. Safe distancing. Safe distancing measures for centres which are allowed to continue on-premise instruction include:
    1. Students: Centres must ensure safe distancing between students by putting up appropriate floor demarcations and/or physical barriers, e.g. using safety tape. There must also be strict separation between students in different classrooms at all times, with no intermingling.
      • As a default, centres must ensure that students maintain safe distancing of at least 1m at all times, with strictly no physical interaction between students.
      • If it is not possible to apply 1m safe distancing between students and some interaction is unavoidable, centres may instead organise students into groups of no more than two students, with strictly no physical interaction or intermingling between different groups. Centres must strictly maintain a minimum of 1m spacing between pairs, although MOE advises 2m spacing between pairs as a best practice.
    2. Tutors/instructors: They are allowed to move between pairs. However, contact should be transient and they should remain at the front of the class as much as is practicable.
    3. Capacity: No single room within a centre should hold more than 50 persons, including tutors/instructors, even as the above measures are adopted.
    4. Centres are also reminded that per MOM's guidelines for workplaces, there should be no cross-deployment across worksites. More information on prevailing workplace SMMs can be found on the MOM website (https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures).
  2. Health declarations. Centres should not permit students who are placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) or Approved Absence (AA) by their schools, or students who are on a Stay Home Notice (SHN), or Home Quarantine Order (HQO) to attend lessons. We also advise centres to watch out for students with fever or respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, breathlessness, runny nose, loss of smell, cough, or sore throat. Students with the above symptoms or are unwell should be sent home immediately, and should not be allowed to attend lessons. As a best practice, centres should also check if a family member living in the same household is unwell. If so, the child should not attend lessons in person.
  3. Disinfection of surfaces. All surfaces in classrooms must be thoroughly disinfected between classes. Sharing of all equipment (e.g. props, music scores, and microphones) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before being handled or used by others. However, please note that sharing of wind/brass instruments or parts thereof (e.g. mouthpieces, reeds) is not allowed. (Note that all in-person singing, and wind/brass instrument classes are suspended in Phase Two (Heightened Alert).
  4. Masks must be worn as a default at all times, except for persons allowed to use face shields instead of masks (e.g. persons with health conditions resulting in breathing/medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period). Instructors are expected to wear a surgical mask or reusable masks of equivalent effectiveness at all times.
  5. Class timings. Centres should allocate at least 15 minutes between classes. This is to allow adequate time to disinfect classroom surfaces, and to ensure strict separation of individuals from different classes. Centres should also work out attendance and dismissal arrangements that help avoid congestion of individuals in or outside the centre.
  6. Ventilation. All premises should abide by the latest guidance on improving ventilation and indoor air quality in buildings amid the COVID-19 situation, available at: https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/environmental-cleaning-guidelines/advisories/guidance-on-improving-ventilation-and-indoor-air-quality-in-buildings-amid-the-covid-19-situation.

10. Centres should also abide by other sector-specific Safe Management Measures available on the GoBusiness website, and to prevailing circulars issued by the Government.

Sport or Physical Activity Classes for Students Aged 18 and younger

11. As they are of higher risk, sport or physical activity classes for students aged 18 and younger may only continue outdoors, with a maximum of one instructor and one student at all times. If the activity is strenuous, masks can be taken off but have to be put on immediately after the end of the activity. Further guidance is set out in the safe management measures outlined by Sport Singapore, available at: https://www.sportsingapore.gov.sg/newsroom/media-releases/2021/may/updated-as-of-18-may-2021-further-stricter-smm-for-sport-and-physical-exercise-,-a-,-activity.

12. For students aged 18 and younger, all indoor physical activity and sport classes, as well as outdoor physical activity and sport classes involving more than one student, are to be suspended from 19 May 2021 to 13 June 2021 (both dates inclusive).

Sport or Physical Activity Classes for Students Aged Above 18

13. Higher-risk facilities, such as indoor gyms and fitness/dance/exercise studios must be closed between 16 May 2021 and 13 Jun 2021 (dates inclusive), unless they only offer low intensity physical activities, sport and exercises to students older than age 18, where all participants and instructors are wearing masks at all times, subject to further capacity limits (no single room should hold more than 30 persons, including tutors/instructors). Outdoor exercise classes may continue. These classes are subject to the additional safe management measures outlined by Sport Singapore, available at: https://www.sportsingapore.gov.sg/newsroom/media-releases/2021/may/updated-as-of-18-may-2021-further-stricter-smm-for-sport-and-physical-exercise-,-a-,-activity.

Dance Classes for Students Aged Above 18

14. Indoor dance classes for students older than age 18 may only proceed if they are able to adhere to the additional safe management measures (including all participants and instructors wearing masks at all times and further capacity limits; no single room should hold more than 30 persons, including tutors/instructors) outlined in the National Arts Council's advisory, available at https://www.nac.gov.sg/whatwedo/support/sustaining-the-arts-during-covid-19/Safe-Management-Measures-for-the-Arts-and-Culture-Sector.html. Outdoor dance classes may proceed from 16 May through 13 Jun 2021 (dates inclusive), subject to the requirements in the Sport Singapore advisory (see Para 12).

Singing, Wind/Brass Instrument Classes

15. As in-person singing and wind/brass instrument classes involve a higher risk of virus transmission due to voice projection or intentional expulsion of air, they are to be suspended from 16 May to 13 Jun 2021 (dates inclusive).

Voice Training, Speech and Drama Classes for Students Aged Above 18

16. Voice training and speech and drama classes for students older than age 18 may continue, with all participants and instructors wearing masks at all times, subject to additional safe management measures and capacity limits (no single room should hold more than 30 persons, including tutors/instructors) as outlined in the National Arts Council's advisory, available at https://www.nac.gov.sg/whatwedo/support/sustaining-the-arts-during-covid-19/Safe-Management-Measures-for-the-Arts-and-Culture-Sector.html.

Indoor Live Performances

17. All indoor live performances scheduled to take place 16 May through 13 Jun 2021 (dates inclusive) are to be deferred/postponed to reduce the risk of transmission.

Private Tuition / Enrichment in Private Residences

18. All home-based tuition/enrichment must shift their classes online or otherwise suspend lessons from 19 May 2021 to 13 June 2021 (inclusive), unless they cater solely to students older than age 18.

19. For home-based tuition/enrichment that cater solely to students older than age 18, home ventilation should be improved by opening doors and windows. Fans can be used to promote air circulation when needed.

SafeEntry and TraceTogether Programme

20. On 4 May 2021, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced that TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (TT-only SafeEntry) will be implemented at all venues that experience higher throughput of visitors, and/or where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods from 17 May 2021. The TT programme and SafeEntry are important digital tools that enable contact tracers to quickly identify and isolate close contacts of Covid-19 cases. This helps to break transmission chains and prevent community outbreaks. TT tokens may be collected at designated collection points (please refer to https://token.gowhere.gov.sg for more information).

21. Tuition and enrichment centres must therefore ensure that TT-only SafeEntry is implemented, in your premises from 17 May 2021, and that entry to your centres will be allowed only if the individual uses their TT App to scan the centre's QR code or presents the QR code on the TT token to be scanned. This includes staff, students aged 7 years and above, parents and other visitors.

22. From 15 June 2021, it is mandatory for all tuition and enrichment centres to deploy SafeEntry Gateway (SEGW) to facilitate SafeEntry (SE) check-in for students aged 7 years and above, parents, staff and visitors, and help users check that their TT token is working. Tuition and enrichment centres are reminded to download the SafeEntry (Business) app to use the SEGW function, or register for a SEGW box on the SE website (go.gov.sg/gateway-overview).

23. At the point of entry into the centres, if any student forgets to bring their TT token, they should be asked to download the TT app on their phones before they are allowed entry. Individuals will only be granted entry with IDs as a last resort.

24. Business may refer to the SafeEntry User Guide for requirements on how to scan the TT tokens, available at https://www.safeentry.gov.sg (please navigate to Resources > User Guide > SafeEntry NRIC User Guide for Business).

25. Updates may also be found at https://www.smartnation.gov.sg/whats-new/press-releases.

Inspections

26. Tuition and enrichment centres are responsible for ensuring that all safe management measures are implemented in their premises at all times. To ensure compliance, inspectors from MOE will be conducting inspections to check on the proper implementation of the SMMs. Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. For subsequent offences, they may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.

27. Businesses that do not implement or comply with the government's SMMs may be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance, and may also be subject to temporary closures

Updates and Clarifications

28. There will be regular review of measures and requirements as the COVID-19 situation evolves. For updates, please refer to the GoBusiness website (https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg).

29. For clarifications, please refer to the following:

Agency Contact
MOE MOE FAQs: https://moe.gov.sg/faqs-covid-19-infection

You may also contact MOE at https://www.moe.gov.sg/contact

ECDA You may contact ECDA at contact@ecda.gov.sg
National Arts Council You may contact NAC at NAC_Feedback@nac.gov.sg
Sport Singapore You may contact SportSG at https://members.myactivesg.com/feedback
Footnotes
  1. I.e., Anglo-Chinese School (International), Hwa Chong International School, St Joseph's Institution International (High School)
  2. Businesses or individuals that provide arts and sports therapy can approach NAC or SportSG respectively to appeal to continue their services.
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