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Preschools and Student care centres to suspend general services

Type: Press Releases

Topic(s): Children & Families

3 April 2020

Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning to Shift to Full Home-Based Learning; Preschools and Student Care Centres to Suspend General Services

1 The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) have been taking the necessary precautionary measures to safeguard the well-being of all students and staff. Going forward, in alignment with the Multi-Ministry Taskforce’s latest efforts to further enhance safe distancing measures, schools, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) and preschools will now also step up their safe distancing measures.

2 Starting from 8 April 2020, all primary, secondary, Pre-University and IHL students, including students from Special Education (SPED) schools, will shift to full Home-Based Learning (HBL) till 4 May 2020. All preschools, MOE Kindergartens and student care centres, including special student care centres, will suspend their general services during this period. Private education institutions should move to HBL, or suspend classes otherwise. Classes will resume on 5 May 2020. MOE and MSF will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation to assess if these measures need to be prolonged.

Primary and Secondary Schools, Pre-Universities, Special Education Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning

3 The one-day-of-HBL-a-week experience has prepared students, parents and teachers for more extensive use of HBL. During the full HBL phase, schools will continue to provide instructions and support for students to access a range of both online and hardcopy HBL materials, so that learning continues uninterrupted. Schools will also assist students who may require digital devices or internet access. The Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) platform will continue to be accessible to students during this period. Throughout this period of full HBL, our students can rely on the ongoing support of their teachers and other school personnel who will continue to work from home or from school. School staff will also keep in regular contact with them and their parents. Likewise, SPED teachers will provide our students in SPED schools as well as their parents with HBL support for the customised curriculum, and maintain regular contact.

4 With HBL, school-based assessments and examinations for the year will need to be adjusted where necessary. All school-based Mid-Year Examinations will be cancelled. However, national examinations, including the mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language examinations in June, Year-End Examinations and Primary School Leaving Examinations will proceed as planned and with the necessary precautionary measures in place.

5 Blended learning, incorporating a mix of face-to-face and e-learning components, has been a core part of the IHLs’ curriculum. In recent months, IHLs have moved almost all their class-based modules online, and stepped up safe distancing measures on their campuses. They have also been making similar adjustments to their examination and assessment formats. They continue to be in touch with their students to support them in their learning and progression, and well-being, and are committed to work towards helping students to graduate on time.

Preschools and student care centres

6 From 8 April 2020 to 4 May 2020, all preschools are also to suspend their general services and to remain open only to serve a limited group of parents who are unable to find alternative care arrangements, such as those working in essential services like healthcare. ECDA will waive the minimum 1-day attendance requirement for preschool subsidies in April. MSF will also waive the minimum attendance requirement for Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) subsidies in April.

7 HBL resources developed by various preschools will be progressively shared with all other preschools and parents. Preschools will also continue to keep in contact with children during this period to check on their general well-being and progress.

8 We understand the concerns of those who will be affected by the suspension of in-person classes in IHLs and schools, and the suspension of services in student care centres, including worries about childcare arrangements. From 7 April 2020, all workplace premises must shift to mandatory telecommuting. Parents are strongly encouraged to keep their children at home during this period. Those working in essential services such as healthcare, who are unable to secure alternative care arrangements, may approach their children’s primary schools and preschools for assistance.