Almost all continuing education and training classes to go online

All in-person Skillsfuture training will be suspended unless given approval for "exceptional cases".
All in-person Skillsfuture training will be suspended unless given approval for "exceptional cases".PHOTO: ST FILE

Almost all continuing education and training classes will take place virtually from tomorrow, in line with the heightened safe distancing measures that the Government announced last Friday.

This will continue until May 4, and could be extended depending on the national Covid-19 situation.

The Government had earlier announced wide-ranging closures of schools, workplaces and recreational venues, saying that a "circuit breaker" was needed to prevent the situation from worsening.

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) said yesterday that all in-person training will be suspended unless given approval to continue, which will be granted only for "exceptional cases" and will be limited to specific segments where e-learning or e-assessments are impossible.

Only three types of courses are eligible for this exemption.

One, if training is urgently needed for essential roles to support national Covid-19 efforts; two, if training is for workers in the tourism, aviation, retail, food services, land transport, or arts and culture sectors that have been severely affected by the virus outbreak; and three, if it is part of a job placement programme.

If allowed to carry on, lessons will have to adhere strictly to safe distancing measures stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower, such as making sure trainees will not have to travel during peak periods.

In the Budget in February, SSG courses were earmarked as one of the ways to prevent a large-scale loss of jobs. For instance, more than 1,000 companies and 10,000 employees from the food services and retail sectors are set to benefit from an SSG package that co-pays workers' salaries with employers while they are sent for programmes, easing the burden on employers while upskilling workers.

Meanwhile, Little Gems Pre-school in Ang Mo Kio has been temporarily closed until April 14 after a teacher there tested positive.

All affected staff and children have been placed on leave of absence in the meantime.

The Early Childhood Development Agency said the teacher was last at the centre on March 31, and that it was informed by the Ministry of Health of the confirmed diagnosis last Saturday.

The pre-school will undergo thorough cleaning and disinfection before resuming limited services for parents who are working in essential services on April 15.

Last Saturday, private school Kaplan @ Wilkie Edge in Rochor was also informed that one of its students had tested positive for the virus.

In a note sent to students, it said that the infected student, who is part of the Kaplan Foundation Diploma programme, last attended class on campus on March 30.

It had announced last Thursday that all classes would be moved online from Saturday, prior to being informed of the case.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2020, with the headline 'Almost all continuing education and training classes to go online'. Subscribe