The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced that schools will implement one day of Home-Based Learning (HBL) a week as schools progressively transit to a blended learning model in light of the recent spike in imported cases of COVID-19.
This arrangement will, however, not affect MOE Kindergartens.
Commencing from April 2020, all schools will conduct one day of HBL a week, according to the following arrangement:
On days where students are not on HBL, schools will stagger dismissal times to reduce the transient congestion of students.
MOE in its press release, states that it wants to progressively introduce HBL, so as to allow both students and parents to be better prepared should the situation call for more days of HBL as the ministry is conscious that moving to HBL will have impact on many parents and families, especially those without good home support. It also promised to put in place additional measures to help students with higher needs or who require more support for HBL
According to MOE, schools will provide instructions to students and parents on accessing HBL materials to continue with their learning. When this requires use of digital devices, schools will assist students who do not have access. MOE HQ will provide schools with sufficient resources.
MOE ensured that its Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) will be accessible to students during this period and students in Special Education (SPED) Schools as well as their parents will also receive HBL support for the customised curriculum from SPED teachers through regular contact.
As for parents are not able to secure alternative childcare arrangement, MOE stated that the schools will remain open for them. Priority will be given to parents in essential services like healthcare. These parents may approach their schools for assistance. There will be a small number of teachers in school to supervise these students and support students at home who may have SLS and HBL-related queries.
MOE had switched centre-based learning 1 to HBL format for the first two weeks of Term 2 to reduce the risk of intermingling of students from different schools. Centre-based learning will continue in the HBL format until the end of Term 2. For graduating students in Secondary 4 and 5, and JC2, the mode of learning can take the form of video-conferencing in their respective schools or at home, so that ‘live’ lessons can still be conducted without them having to travel to the centres and mingle across schools.
Co-Curricular Activities will remain suspended for the rest of Term 2. External activities and those that involve mingling of students across schools – Learning Journeys, outdoor learning activities at the Outdoor Adventure Learning Centres and the National School Games – will also remain suspended for the rest of Term
The Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation will also be cancelled.
MOE urges all school students and staff to continue practising good personal hygiene and social responsibility throughout the day and even at home.
This includes washing their hands frequently with soap, wearing a surgical mask if they have a cough or runny nose to prevent infecting others, seeing a doctor if they are sick and returning to school only when fully recovered.
Ong Ye Kung gets whacked by netizens over his FB post on MOE’s reasoning for reopening schools amid COVID-19 outbreak
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung earlier took to his Facebook to explain the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) reasoning for reopening schools amid the COVID-19 virus outbreak on Sunday (22 March), and was criticised by local netizens were quick to express their frustration and slammed the minister’s explanations.
Mr Ong in his Facebook post underlined the three reasons as to why schools will reopen after the March holidays. His post came after the country announced that it will ban all short-term visitors from entering or transiting through the country from 11.59pm on Monday (23 March), in bids to reduce the risk of imported COVID-19 cases.
Mr Ong claimed the first reason is scientific evidence revealed that the younger group is less vulnerable to the virus compared to adults.
“Neither is there evidence to show that the young are vectors or spreaders of the virus. The reverse appears to be the case, where the young get infected by adults at home,” he noted.
The second reason is to reduce disruptions as the closure of schools will disrupt many lives especially working parents.
While the third reason is ‘precautions’, which he claimed the ministry had consulted with healthcare experts and implemented additional precautionary measures to safeguard the entire system.
Some of the measures include the Government’s existing leave of absence (LOA) and stay-home notice policy, checks on individuals’ travel history at school gates, two-weeks suspension of students’ co-curricular activities, placing students who are feeling unwell in an isolation room or sent home, ensure all students to sit apart, and constant supervision on students.
However, the majority of the netizens expressed their frustration and slammed Mr Ong’s explanation.
Most of the netizens voiced out their disagreement on Mr Ong’s remark that the younger group is less vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, which he claimed was revealed by scientific evidence.