Home News Covid-19 vaccine effect on kids being monitored; S'pore aims to vaccinate them...

Covid-19 vaccine effect on kids being monitored; S’pore aims to vaccinate them in the near future

We can't do away completely with homework and tests, he says

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Singapore – Education Minister Lawrence Wong announced on Sunday (Mar 21) that Singapore is closely monitoring ongoing trials for the safe use of Covid-19 vaccines on children, hoping to certify the vaccines for use on the children in the near future.

In an “AskMeAnything” segment posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, Mr Wong answered a few questions from members of the public concerning education, travel and the Covid-19 vaccination initiative.

“At the start of the March holidays, I gave myself some ‘holiday homework’ and invited all of you to #AskMeAnything on my IG (Instagram) stories,” said Mr Wong in the caption of his five-minute video. “Handing in my homework today!” he added.

When asked whether students will take the Covid-19 vaccine eventually, Mr Wong replied, “For now, the vaccines that have been authorised for use against Covid-19 are allowed only for those who are 16 and older.”

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“But there are trials that are happening now. We are monitoring the trials. And we hope that before too long, we will be able to certify the use of the vaccines for children in Singapore too.”

More than 150,000 teachers and other staff in educational institutions have been included in the national vaccination programme, according to a straitstimes.com report. The Ministry of Health also announced that it plans to inoculate those who come into prolonged contact with children and young people, given the vaccine has not been certified for those under 16.

During the session, Mr Wong was also asked which role he preferred, being the Minister for Education or Minister for National Development. He responded that he likes both as each one is different but has the same objectives.

One of the most popular questions he received was regarding exams and homework and if they could be scrapped.

“We probably cannot do away completely with homework and tests. When we want to learn something, we always have to push ourselves a bit, work a little bit harder, practise a little bit more and get better at it,” said Mr Wong.

Asked whether the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) would be easier or more difficult as a result of the new grading system, Mr Wong said, “The reason why we are doing this is to tell everyone not to be too obsessed with your PSLE score. There is no need to chase after every last mark.”

Lastly, he was asked if travel would be possible soon. Mr Wong, who is also the co-chair of the multi-ministry task force for Covid-19, said that the answer to this question depends on how successful countries are in keeping the pandemic under control.

“A lot depends on the (Covid-19) situation around the world; also on the vaccination programme that we are presently undertaking,” he said.

“So if all goes well with vaccination, then there is a chance that we may be able to allow for more travel without the quarantine when you come back by the year-end.

“But we have to keep our fingers crossed.”/TISG

Read related: Don’t waste the hope of vaccines, warns WHO

Don’t waste the hope of vaccines, warns WHO

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