SINGAPORE - More school activities, including co-curricular activities (CCAs), will be allowed to resume as students from all levels will return to school daily from June 29.
CCAs will resume in stages as they are "essential elements of school experiences", said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a statement on Wednesday (June 17).
The ministry said that 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.
Schools can conduct activities requiring physical presence at the class level to minimise intermingling, it 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," said the ministry.
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, 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 the MOE, adding that it will take reference from Sport Singapore's advisory on the resumption of physical activities in phase two.
These updates from the MOE follow Monday's announcement that most businesses and social activities will resume from June 19, which marks the start of the second phase of Singapore's reopening.
Students had already returned to school for Term 3 from June 2 but in small numbers. The graduating cohorts - Primary 6, Secondary 4 and Secondary 5 - have been attending school on weekdays, while the rest of the students have been taking turns between face-to-face lessons on school premises and home-based learning.
MOE has planned for two cycles of these weekly rotations, which will end on June 26.
With the transition to phase two, schools and campuses will continue with safe management measures to keep students and staff safe. These include reduced intermingling across classes and cohorts, frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, daily disinfection of the premises and wearing of masks. Staggered arrival, dismissal and recess timings have also been set in place to reduce congestion.
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 the MOE.
Institutes of higher learning will gradually increase the number of students back on campus, said the ministry. Students will continue to return for practical and laboratory sessions, with no more than 50 people per class.
Similarly, other classes or consultations that were previously conducted online can now gradually resume on campus with no more than 50 individuals per class, but all large-scale classes and lectures will continue to be held online.
Selected activities, such as project work discussions, fitness training and face-to-face counselling, may resume gradually, subject to the necessary safe management measures, which include keeping at least a 1m distance between individuals and having no more than 50 people in a venue, said MOE.
The ministry said that large-scale orientation activities will still not be possible at the moment, but some smaller-scale activities can proceed, in line with safe management measures. These include briefings, campus tours and non-contact, ice-breaking activities.
Meanwhile, self-help group enrichment as well as private tuition and enrichment classes 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 some interaction is unavoidable, they must remain within groups of no larger than five, with each group maintaining a distance of at least 1m (preferably 2m) from other groups, with no mixing between groups.
Teachers may move between groups, but must keep contact to a minimum and remain at the front of the class as much as possible.
Details of these safe management measures will be available from June 17 at covid.gobusiness.gov.sg