Coronavirus pandemic

CCAs to gradually resume in schools, some via digital means

Group activities and games allowed for PE lessons, but limited to groups of five at a time

A physical education lesson at Jing Shan Primary School in which pupils have to observe social distancing. For PE lessons, schools will allow group activities and games that involve minimal physical contact or have a small number of players on each s
A physical education lesson at Jing Shan Primary School in which pupils have to observe social distancing. For PE lessons, schools will allow group activities and games that involve minimal physical contact or have a small number of players on each side, such as badminton, table tennis, volleyball and sepak takraw.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

More school activities, including co-curricular activities (CCAs), will be allowed to resume as students from all levels return to school daily from June 29.

CCAs will resume in stages since they are "essential elements of school experiences", said the Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday.

Schools will try to restart CCAs that can be conducted by coaches, instructors or CCA teachers through digital means. These include dance, computer programming, art and robotics.

Activities requiring a physical presence can be done at the class level to minimise intermingling, MOE said. "This means that students may not be participating in an activity that is their original CCA choice, but they will get to learn something new, together as a class," it added.

MOE centre-based lessons, including those at the MOE Language Centres, will also resume for non-graduating levels from June 29.

For physical education lessons, schools will allow group activities and games that involve minimal physical contact or have a small number of players on each side, such as badminton, table tennis, volleyball and sepak takraw.

Only up to five students per group can participate at a time and safe management measures will be taken.

"This may require some creative change in game formats and rules," said MOE, adding that it will take reference from Sport Singapore's advisory on the resumption of physical activities in phase two.

These updates follow Monday's announcement that most businesses and social activities will resume from tomorrow, which marks the start of the second phase of Singapore's reopening.

Since June 2, students had already returned to school for Term 3, but in smaller numbers. The graduating cohorts - Primary 6, Secondary 4 and Secondary 5 - have been attending school every week, while the rest of the students have been taking turns between face-to-face lessons in school and home-based learning.

MOE has planned for two cycles of these weekly rotations, which will end on June 26.

Schools and campuses will continue with safe management measures, including reduced intermingling across classes and cohorts, and wearing of masks. Students will continue to have fixed exam-style seating in classrooms, with small group discussions allowed.

They also need to continue with spaced seating arrangements in canteens, where possible. If not, fixed groups of up to five students from the same class will be allowed to sit together, said MOE.

Institutes of higher learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus. Students will continue to return for practical and laboratory sessions, with no more than 50 students per class.

A DIFFERENT APPROACH

This means that students may not be participating in an activity that is their original CCA choice, but they will get to learn something new, together as a class.

THE EDUCATION MINISTRY, on how CCA activities requiring a physical presence can be done at the class level to minimise intermingling

Similarly, other classes or consultations that were previously conducted online can now gradually resume on campus, with no more than 50 persons per class, but all large-scale classes and lectures will continue to be held online.

Meanwhile, self-help group enrichment, private tuition and enrichment can also resume for all students from June 19, with safe management measures in place. But singing or vocal training sessions will still not be allowed.

Students must maintain safe distancing of at least 1m from others and refrain from interacting. If interaction is unavoidable, they must remain within groups of no more than five, with each group maintaining a distance of at least 1m (or preferably 2m) from other groups, with no mixing between groups.

Madam Maryann Koh, 47, who runs a family photography studio, said the rule of five students per group is reasonable, although she is not sure how teachers will enforce it consistently across activities.

"For some CCAs, it's also quite impossible to have remote sessions," said Madam Koh, whose Primary 6 son does rock climbing and Secondary 3 son is in the symphonic band. "My younger son can't wait to resume his CCA," she added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2020, with the headline 'CCAs to gradually resume in schools, some via digital means'. Subscribe