Around 1 in 3 students collected TraceTogether tokens in school: MOE

Schools are not denying entry to students without TraceTogether tokens.
Schools are not denying entry to students without TraceTogether tokens.PHOTOS: ST FILE, LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - About 130,000, or roughly one in three, students across primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and Millennia Institute have collected their TraceTogether tokens from school.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said that schools distributed tokens to them by end March. 

They are among the more than 90 per cent of Singapore residents on the TraceTogether programme, laying the foundation for it to be the only means of registering visitors islandwide.

For now, schools are not denying entry to students without TraceTogether tokens or to those who have not downloaded the TraceTogether app.

Previously announced MOE guidelines said TraceTogether would be made mandatory in schools from Dec 1 last year, with December as the grace period during which students could still have their NRIC or student passes scanned instead.

The ministry later postponed the requirement for students to use either their tokens or the app on their mobile phones until all tokens are given out.

The MOE website strongly encourages students to bring their TraceTogether tokens to school instead of relying on the app because they may not have access to their handphones during classes or outdoor activities.

It also said that TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will not be implemented at institutes of higher learning or private educational institutes until all students and staff have had a chance to collect a token.

The ministry told ST that students who missed the deadline to request for collection of TraceTogether tokens via their respective schools can still do so at any of the community centres and clubs listed on this link.

Parents may collect them on behalf of their children.

Damaged or faulty TraceTogether tokens can also be replaced for free at these locations. Those who have lost their Tokens for the first time can replace them at no cost too.

Both the app and token work by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals with nearby users of the token or app to track people exposed to confirmed Covid-19 cases.

This proximity data is encrypted and stored for 25 days before being automatically deleted.

Only when a user tests positive for Covid-19 will the Health Ministry request that Bluetooth data from the device be uploaded to the Government's servers for tracing close contacts.

The app also collects anonymised information about a user's phone and app, such as the phone model and app version, to help the Government improve the app and provide a better user experience.