Forum: Covid-19 disruptions will be taken into account at national exams

We thank Ms Connie Ang for sharing her concerns about how Covid-19 has affected pupils (Pupils about to take PSLE have gone through a lot in the past two years, Sept 28).

Just like in other aspects of our lives, the pandemic has presented us with unforeseen challenges that require us to respond nimbly.

Pupils and teachers have to constantly adjust to precautionary measures put in place to ensure that schools remain a safe place for teaching and learning. They also have to rapidly adapt to new ways of teaching and learning during home-based learning.

In schools, teachers check in regularly with pupils and monitor them for signs of stress and distress. Pupils also learn strategies to cope with stress and anxiety, care for themselves and seek help when in need. At home, parents play the irreplaceable role of guiding their children to make sense of these challenges and stay well-adjusted to cope with them.

We understand that the disruptions due to Covid-19 can cause pupils greater anxiety, particularly among those taking their national examinations. Therefore, we have removed common last topics for this year's national examinations to ensure that teaching and learning are not rushed, and that pupils do not feel too anxious about their exams.

We assure parents and pupils that the disruptions due to Covid-19 will be taken into account at national examinations to ensure that pupils are not disadvantaged by these exceptional circumstances.

Beyond these challenges, it has been encouraging to see how pupils have grown to become more self-directed and independent in their learning. We are proud of how our teachers have responded by always placing pupils' well-being at the heart of what they do. We also appreciate that parents are closely partnering schools to help pupils adapt to uncertainties with resilience.

We thank parents, pupils and teachers for understanding the need to dynamically adapt in response to the fluid Covid-19 situation.

The Ministry of Education and schools are determined to ensure the well-being of pupils and teachers as we learn to live with Covid-19. We are confident that with the support of parents, our pupils will learn valuable life lessons and emerge stronger.

Sng Chern Wei
Deputy Director-General of Education (Curriculum)
Ministry of Education