Singapore schools to shift to full home-based learning from April 8 to May 4 amid Covid-19 pandemic

The Ministry of Education will work with schools to implement the shift to full home-based learning. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Students in all schools and institutes of higher learning will shift to full home-based learning from next Wednesday (April 8), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will work with schools to implement this, Mr Lee said in a speech announcing new measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

The measures will last at least until May 4.

"All pre-school and student care centres will also be closed, but will provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and are unable to make alternative care arrangements," Mr Lee said.

Singapore implemented one day of home-based learning on Wednesday.

Mr Lee said this has gone smoothly, with teething issues being resolved.

MOE and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said that schools will continue to provide instruction and support for students during the home-based learning period.Schools would also assist students who require digital devices or internet access.

"Throughout this period of full HBL, our students can rely on the ongoing support of their teachers and other school personnel who will continue to work from home or from school. School staff will also keep in regular contact with them and their parents," the ministries said.

Home-based learning would also mean the cancellation of all school-based mid-year examinations, though national examination will continue.

"National examinations, including the mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language examinations in June, Year-End Examinations and Primary School Leaving Examinations will proceed as planned and with the necessary
precautionary measures in place."

The MOE announced last Friday that primary school pupils would do home-based learning on Wednesdays, secondary school students on Thursdays, and junior colleges and Millennia Institute students on Fridays.

While pre-school are also suspending services, they will remain open to serve a limited group of parents unable to find alternative care arrangements. Subsidies will also continue. ECDA will waive the minimum 1-day attendance requirement for preschool subsidies in April. MSF will also waive the minimum attendance requirement for Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) subsidies in April.

"Parents are strongly encouraged to keep their children at home during this period. Those working in essential services such as healthcare, who are unable to secure alternative care arrangements, may approach their children's primary schools and preschools for assistance," the statement said.

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