Back to school for all - and then hang out at the malls

From left: Students at a McDonald's outlet in Bukit Batok Central, hanging out at Tiong Bahru Plaza and West Mall in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG, JASON QUAH
Students at a McDonald's outlet in Bukit Batok Central (above), hanging out at Tiong Bahru Plaza and West Mall in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG, JASON QUAH
From left: Students at a McDonald's outlet in Bukit Batok Central, hanging out at Tiong Bahru Plaza and West Mall in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG, JASON QUAH
Students at a McDonald's outlet in Bukit Batok Central, hanging out at Tiong Bahru Plaza (above) and West Mall in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG, JASON QUAH
From left: Students at a McDonald's outlet in Bukit Batok Central, hanging out at Tiong Bahru Plaza and West Mall in Bukit Batok. ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG, JASON QUAH
Students at a McDonald's outlet in Bukit Batok Central, hanging out at Tiong Bahru Plaza and West Mall in Bukit Batok (above). ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG, JASON QUAH

It was back to the classroom full time for all students yesterday and many hit the malls and fast-food joints after the dismissal bell rang.

It has been about 12 weeks since all primary, secondary and pre-university students, including those from special education schools, shifted to full home-based learning on April 8 during the circuit breaker.

Students in graduating cohorts had returned to school on June 2, while the rest alternated weekly between home-based learning and classes in school.

At shopping centres around the island yesterday, students were seen getting their bubble tea fix, waiting to enter fast-food joints and unwinding with friends - but only after whipping out their phones to scan SafeEntry QR codes for contact tracing at mall entrances.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung visited Ngee Ann Secondary School yesterday to see how it was coping with the full student population back in school.

He noted that students and teachers were familiar with the safe management measures, such as having upper and lower secondary students take designated routes to their classrooms so that overcrowding would not occur.

He also observed that teachers continue to check with students if they or their household members were unwell.

Said Mr Ong: "With all students back now, it's even more important that all of us practise social responsibility to continue keeping our schools a safe place."

 
 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2020, with the headline 'Back to school for all - and then hang out at the malls'. Print Edition | Subscribe