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MOE prepares to permit sports in schools provided students maintain social distance

Only 20 students at most can participate in an activity and smaller groups of no more than five within this bigger 20-player group will be allowed to interact closely

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Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said that schools should start bringing back some lower-risk co-curricular activities (CCAs) as long as students maintain social distance. For example, he said that players who play two-on-two basketball should keep a one metre distance when marking their opponents.

In a Facebook post published on Thursday (23 July), Mr Ong highlighted that other countries that are emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns have resumed team sports. While he believes Singapore is “not yet ready” for sports like football and wrestling, Mr Ong said that some sports should be brought back since things are “stable” in the two months since schools have re-opened.

He wrote: “As we emerge from lockdowns and circuit breakers, many countries have resumed sporting activities – football leagues, baseball, basketball, golf, MMA, Sumo etc. Hence Liverpool lifted its first Championship in 30 years.

(although I am not a fan I thought they played really well this season)!

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“We are not yet ready to resume football leagues and physical sparring. But schools have restarted for about 2 months, things are stable, and we should start to bring back some lower-risk CCAs for secondary schools and JCs, with safety precautions.”

There are three safety precautions that institutions resuming sorting activities must abide by. Only 20 students at most can participate in an activity and smaller groups of no more than five within this bigger 20-player group can interact closely. Lastly, games must be modified to keep students one metre apart.

Providing examples, Mr Ong said: “The safety rules boil down to the following three. First, maximum of 20 students per activity. Second, within the 20, allowing closer interaction in groups of no more than 5. So can play doubles for badminton and table tennis as part of CCA.

“Third, modifying game rules such that students keep 1 metre apart. So when they play 2 on 2 basketball, they should keep a distance when they mark their opponents.”

The ruling party politician promised that games can be expanded to include more players if community transmission remains under control. He added, “CCAs are an important part of school life that students enjoy – something to look forward to when school reopens!”

As we emerge from lockdowns and circuit breakers, many countries have resumed sporting activities – football leagues,…

Posted by Ong Ye Kung on Thursday, 23 July 2020

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