Singapore — All schools will conduct home-based learning once a week from April 1, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Friday (March 27).
This follows the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in Singapore and is to better prepare parents and students for more days of home-based learning if and when required.
Primary schools will have their home-based learning on Wednesdays, secondary schools on Thursdays, and junior colleges and centralised institutes on Fridays.
When asked how long this home-based learning will last, Mr Ong said: “It depends how long the virus lasts, and how long we feel it will be around.”
Mr Ong noted that he had received many questions from parents, with some asking why the March holidays were not extended.
“For schools, which are a major part of people’s lives, we have also been stepping up (measures). So we will not want to do something dramatic, sudden, that will result in school closure,” he said.
Adding that schools will remain open for a small group of students whose parents are not able to make alternative childcare arrangements, Mr Ong said that priority will be given to parents working in essential services such as healthcare or public transport.
Most teachers will stay at home on the day of home-based learning, while about 20 per cent of staff, including the principal, will remain in school.
Co-curricular activities (CCAs) will remain suspended for the rest of Term 2, and so will other activities that involve mingling of students across schools like the National School Games, Mr Ong said.
He added: “We still have options. We are not like many countries, where they are forced into sudden school closures.” /TISG