Press Releases

April 21, 2020

Mid-year Holidays Brought Forward as Schools Adjust Academic Calendar; Institutes of Higher Learning to Extend Home-based Learning

1. Since the implementation of full Home-Based Learning (HBL) on 8 April 2020, our schools and educators have been working hard to ensure that students are able to continue with meaningful learning and to provide greater support to those who are not able to learn from home. Students have adapted to learning from home and demonstrated resilience during this challenging time. Parents have also learned how to guide their children, while giving their children the space to learn for themselves and be more self-directed. It has been a period of learning and growth for everyone. Educators, students and parents have all risen admirably to the challenge.

4-Week School Holidays to Begin on 5 May

2. With the Multi-Ministry Taskforce's decision to extend the Circuit Breaker (CB) period till 1 June 2020, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will bring forward the June holidays to 5 May 2020. While HBL has been going well, it has been an intense period of hard work and adjustment for parents, students and teachers. An early June holiday will give everyone a respite. It also buys us time for a less restrictive school opening in June.

3. With the school holidays brought forward, lessons will resume on 2 June 2020 (more details on the format of these lessons – physical classes, partial HBL or full HBL – will be released at a later date depending on the national posture at that time). This means that Term 3 will now be longer, but we will institute a one-week mid-term break from 20 to 26 July 2020. These adjustments will apply to all MOE Kindergartens, primary, secondary and Pre-University students, including students from Special Education (SPED) schools. The revised academic calendar is as follows:

  • 5 May 2020 to 1 June 2020: School holidays
  • 2 June 2020: Start of Term 3
  • 20 July 2020 to 26 July 2020: Mid-term break
  • 6 September 2020: End of Term 3

Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLS) to Extend HBL

4. The IHLs will take the following approach from 5 May 2020 to 1 June 2020:

  • Students from polytechnics will continue with full HBL
  • Students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will continue with full HBL until 8 May 2020. Thereafter, they will be on vacation from 9 May to 1 June. (The vacation is brought forward from mid-June. ITE will be providing more details separately.)
  • Students from the Singapore Institute of Technology and some students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design will be starting their school term on 18 May 2020 in full HBL
  • The other Autonomous Universities will be having their holidays. Those offering a summer term will conduct all classes online

Limited Care Services to Continue in Schools

5. Parents working in essential services like healthcare and who are also unable to secure alternative care arrangements, may continue to approach their children's primary school, MOE Kindergarten or SPED school for assistance during the school holidays. These support services have been ongoing throughout the HBL period, and will continue to be offered. Private education institutions should either continue with their HBL arrangements, or suspend classes otherwise.

Rescheduling of GCE-Level Mtl Examinations

6. In view of the changes to the academic calendar, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) will reschedule the Mid-Year Mother Tongue Language (MTL) Written Examinations as follows:

Subject Examined Original Date Rescheduled Date
O-Level MTL (Papers 1 and 2) 1 June 2020 8 am 18 June 2020 2 pm
A-Level H1 MTL (Papers 1 and 2)
O-Level MTL B (Papers 1 and 2) 2 June 2020 8 am 19 June 2020 2:30 pm
A-Level MTL B (Papers 1 and 2)

7. Taking into consideration the Term 3 mid-term break from 20 July to 26 July, the listening comprehension for O- and A-level MTL and MTL B will be rescheduled as follows:

Subject Examined Original Date Rescheduled Date
O-Level MTL and MTL B Listening Comprehension 21 Jul 2020 27 Jul 2020
A-Level MTL and MTL B Listening Comprehension 22 Jul 2020

8. About 20,600 students across all schools have registered for the O- and A-Level MTL Mid-Year examinations. SEAB will work with schools to put in place precautionary measures to protect the safety and well-being of students and examination personnel.

Removal of Common Last Topics

9. In light of the impact that the extended CB period has on curriculum time and to further allay students' concerns and anxiety about catching up with the curriculum, the Common Last Topics (CLT) will be removed from the national examinations this year. The CLT is a set of topics from a syllabus identified by MOE that would be taught last by all schools towards the end of the academic year. Examples of CLT to be removed include "Interactions within the Environment" for PSLE Science, Vectors for O-level Mathematics and "Introduction to the Chemistry of Transition Elements" for A-level H2 Chemistry. The CLT provides MOE and SEAB with the flexibility of reducing the scope covered in national examinations should an unforeseen situation occur that does not allow schools to complete their teaching for the graduating cohorts. The CLT will still be taught, but not be examinable.

10. For skill-based subjects such as English Language and MTL, it will not be meaningful and practical to identify CLTs. In such instances, SEAB will take the disruption to curriculum time into consideration during marking and grading to ensure that all students are fairly assessed.

11. Even with the adjustments to national examinations, MOE recognises that students in graduating cohorts will continue to face some anxiety. We will look to phase in more consultations for these students, and explore more face-to-face lessons, when the national situation improves.

12. For non-graduating students, similar measures will be adopted at the school level to help students cope with the reduced curriculum time and the demand of the year-end school-based examinations. MOE will provide further guidance to schools in due course on how such adjustments can be made.

13. MOE will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and provide the necessary support to our schools, educators and students. Parents are strongly encouraged to keep their children at home during this period.