Forum: School start time, class size were all looked into

Pupils wiping their tables after recess at Jing Shan Primary School on May 27, 2020.
Pupils wiping their tables after recess at Jing Shan Primary School on May 27, 2020.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

We thank Ms Sunita Sue Leng for her feedback (Relook class sizes, school start time for new normal, May 28). The Ministry of Education (MOE) has implemented safe management measures in schools since the Covid-19 outbreak and strengthened our measures over time, in line with the latest medical advice.

From tomorrow, we will reopen schools, with even more precautionary measures in place, including weekly rotation of attendance and tighter health screening.

We have considered reducing class sizes as suggested by Ms Sunita. But that would mean significantly increasing the number of classes and the teaching load of teachers, which will not be sustainable.

We also looked at school start and dismissal times. We have given schools broad guidelines to start at 7.30am at the earliest.

But most schools chose not to delay the start time - for example, starting at 8.30am would mean lessons would continue into later in the afternoon when it gets much warmer. Also, a later start time would clash with peak-hour traffic.

Liew Wei Li

Deputy Director-General of Education (Schools)

Ministry of Education

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2020, with the headline 'School start time, class size were all looked into'. Print Edition | Subscribe