Singapore schools to move to home-based learning from May 19

Institutes of Higher Learning will also convert more classes to online learning where possible until the end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).

Nigel Chin

Started writing for the passion. Now writing because it’s the only thing I can do.

Published: 16 May 2021, 9:01 PM

All primary and secondary schools, as well as junior colleges and Millennia Institute will start full home-based learning from Wednesday (May 19) until the start of mid-year school holidays.

The announcement was made on Sunday by Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing. 

However, the mid-year GCE O- and A-level Mother Tongue examinations will proceed as planned, with strict safe management measures in place. 

The decision to move to full home-based learning comes after several primary school students tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, with most of the infections linked to tuition centres. 

During the home-based learning period, instructions and support will be provided by the school for students to access online and hard copy materials so that learning continues uninterrupted. 

Schools will also help students who may require digital devices or Internet access.

“Schools will remain open for students who require additional support. In particular, parents working in essential services or are unable to secure alternative care arrangements may approach their children’s primary schools for assistance,” the Ministry of Education said in a separate statement.

All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes should move activities online until the end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) too, to prevent the intermingling of students from different schools and enhance students’ safety. 

However, pre-schools and student care centres will remain open to support families who need these services, said Mr Chan, who encouraged parents to keep their children at home where possible since work-from-home is now the default arrangement.

For Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL), more classes will be converted to online learning where possible until Jun 13, when Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), or P2HA, ends. Only those that require students to be present, such as labs, practicals or final-year projects, will carry on as per usual. 

Mr Chan said authorities understand that the shift to full home-based learning may cause anxiety in some parents.

“But we want to assure all parents and students that MOE (Ministry of Education) will continue to extend our help and our fullest support to the schools, the teachers and the parents who require additional help to make these adjustments,” he said.

“And we also want to put in place measures to continue to minimise the disruptions to the learning of our students.”

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