Singapore — The Government announced on Tuesday the lifting, in three phases from June 2, of circuit breaker measures including those for the education sector.
Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung also published a Facebook post that day explaining the gradual process of re-opening schools and the new safety measures that will be taken from that date.
His post received comments from parents who wanted to continue with home-based learning (HBL), or who preferred daily school but for shorter periods rather than the proposed rotation scheme, and parents who were concerned about the prolonged use of face masks by their children.
Mr Ong had stated that, as schools are gradually re-opened from June 2, this will be done via three key measures.
As we exit from the Circuit Breaker from 2 Jun, we will embark on a roadmap to the eventual full opening of schools….
First, priority will be given to students who require special attention, such as children enrolled in Special Education schools. Also falling under this priority category are graduating students, who will be preparing to take the national exams.
Second, a rotation system will be implemented, wherein students will take turns switching from HBL to live classes, and vice versa. “We aim to gradually have all students fully back in school after two cycles of weekly rotation, or four weeks,” said Mr Ong.
Third, a “stringent safe management system” will be put in place, under which fall the mandatory screening of every individual who enters the schools, the development of proper hygiene habits, the prevention of “inter-mingling” among students who are not in the same class, and of course, the implementation of safe distancing measures as well as the donning of protective gear.
In addition to these three key measures, Mr Ong gave the assurance that the Ministry of Education (MOE) “will also continue to support high needs students and children of parents who need to work and cannot find alternate childcare arrangement, and allow them to come to school on their HBL week.”
Here are some of the responses of parents to Mr Ong’s post: