SINGAPORE - Pre-school and primary school pupils will receive a reusable face shield each, as an alternative to face masks, as they prepare to head back to school from June 2.
Temasek Foundation said on Friday (May 22) it is partnering the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the Ministry of Education in this initiative.
Pre-school, primary, secondary, special education and junior college students will also each be given two bottles of hand sanitiser - one 50ml pocket-sized sanitiser to carry with them, and a larger bottle of 500ml to refill the smaller one.
The sanitiser solution is made up of 40 per cent isopropyl alcohol and 0.1 per cent benzalkonium chloride - a disinfectant that can be used against coronaviruses.
Temasek Foundation said it is working with its partners to ensure that all schools can receive these items by June 8.
"Given the logistics involved, some students may not receive the items on the first day they return to school. Should this be the case, we encourage parents to ensure their pre-school and primary school children use their own masks or face shields in school in the interim," the foundation added.
All pre-school teachers and staff will also receive a face shield and an oximeter, which measures the level of oxygen in blood, as they may have to come into closer contact with children.
Some have already received these, while others will receive them over the next few weeks, the foundation said.
Meanwhile, students, service contractors and staff at the Institute of Technical Education will each be given a pair of MaskSafe DET30 reusable masks, one 50ml pocket-sized hand sanitiser to carry with them and a 500ml bottle of sanitiser.
With a "wash one, wear one" approach, the pair of MaskSafe reusable masks can be used daily for up to two months.
The initiative is expected to benefit more than 650,000 students, and 42,000 teachers and contract staff.
Ms Koh Lin-Net, chief executive of Temasek Foundation Nurtures, said: "These efforts are part of our Stay Prepared initiative to support the Singapore community during this Covid-19 period.
"We would like to do our part and help our children and teachers to stay safe by equipping them with a face shield or mask and also hand sanitiserthat will come in handy when they have no immediate access to soap and water."
ECDA chief executive Jamie Ang said face shields and sanitisers are important for safe management practices.
"These contributions will help our community stay Covid-safe together as we prepare to resume services in phases from June 2," said Ms Ang.
(Note: The Ministry of Health said on June 1 that people should wear face masks, instead of face shields, following a review of an earlier policy in which either option had been allowed. Face shields are allowed only for some, including children 12 years old and below, and in certain settings such as in classrooms.)