Is one-day home-based learning arrangement in Singapore a good idea?

Parents of young Singaporean students had mixed feelings about the implementation of the home-based learning system.

Nigel Chin
Nigel Chin

Published: 20 March 2020, 10:15 AM

As part of the Singapore government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, students in Singapore will do home-based learning once a week, it was announced on Friday (Mar 27).

From this week, primary school will conduct home-based learning on Wednesdays, secondary schools on Thursdays. Junior colleges and centralised institutes students will carry it out on Friday.

The new system will allow Singaporeans to “get used” to home-based learning, Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung said. According to media reports, the ministry may expand the new system to include more days if necessary.

He added that the current arrangement may continue for as long as needed, depending on how long the virus lasts.

“Even if schools go into more days of home-based learning, or even all days home-based learning, if the situation is so bad, learning must continue, and we must be able to support students learning from home. That’s why next week is important to start this. And if learning can continue, we don’t have to stop exams,” the minister said.

Of course, apart from students, working parents may be affected by this arrangement. Youth.SG speaks to some parents to find out what they think about the home-based learning arrangement.

How long the home-based learning arrangement lasts will depend on the virus. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/MOE

There's time to make arrangements for full school closure

“This seems to be the government’s strategy to deal with the virus – implement something slowly and gradually increase it. One day home-based learning is a good idea to let us working parents have time to make arrangements. And it also prepares us in case a full school closure eventually happens” – Ben Cheong, 33, father of a primary four student.

Seems like a test for families

“Not too sure what is the effectiveness of having home-based learning for just one day. It seems like an exercise of sorts to test if families can cope. Fortunately for me, I’m working from home because of my company’s guidelines so it won’t affect that much” – Jane Tan, 31, mother of two primary school kids.

No one to take care of children

“While I agree with it, I hope it doesn’t come to a full closure of schools. Kids without anyone to take care of them at home, will end up going out instead of staying at home – like my case. At least for now, on school days I know they are in school for half a day. But for the one-day a week home-based learning, there’s no choice but for them to stay at home alone because my wife and I are both working and can’t afford to stay at home to watch the kids instead.” – Henry Chua, 46, father of two secondary school kids.

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