Coronavirus: Easing of curbs

More school, co-curricular activities to resume

They will be allowed from mid-Oct after exams; learning journeys, inter-school activities to restart

Secondary 2 students from Chua Chu Kang Secondary School during a wushu session in August. The 1m distance between students will still apply when more school and co-curricular activities resume. When they practise sports while unmasked, they should s
Secondary 2 students from Chua Chu Kang Secondary School during a wushu session in August. The 1m distance between students will still apply when more school and co-curricular activities resume. When they practise sports while unmasked, they should stay at least 2m apart.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

More school and co-curricular activities (CCAs) will be allowed to resume from the middle of this month, after the conclusion of year-end examinations for primary and secondary schools, as well as junior colleges.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday that these will include activities involving wind instruments, and speech and drama programmes. There will be a cap of five wind players or five drama performers, with the mandatory presence of one teacher or instructor.

Orchestras within schools and junior colleges have already resumed.

Learning journeys and non-residential activities held at the MOE's outdoor adventure learning centres may also resume, as well as several inter-school activities, such as local Olympiads.

CCAs held at sporting venues such as golf, bowling and swimming will also be allowed.

Up to 50 people will be allowed to take part in these activities as Singapore gradually eases Covid-19 curbs. This will take immediate effect and will more than double the participants allowed from a previous 20.

The National School Games (NSG) and Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation will resume next year. So will Outward Bound Singapore learning activities, MOE added.

However, the ministry said activities will resume with safe management measures in place.

The 1m distance between students will still apply. When they practise sports while unmasked, they should stay at least 2m apart.

For activities where a 1m distance cannot be maintained, students must abide by the "group of five" rule. High-touch points and common facilities must also be wiped down at the end of each activity or change in groups.

Queensway Secondary School girls' football coach Merah Ahmad, 63, said her team is looking forward to the NSG next year.

"Training has not been 'normal' but the girls always give their 100 per cent, even in Zoom training sessions. They have also been giving each other moral support," she said.

MOE said that further details on the activities resuming next year will be available at a later stage.

CCAs and activities involving singing remain suspended.

Activities with high levels of body contact such as taekwondo sparring and rugby scrum and tackle, as well as overnight camps, are also not allowed.

MOE said that CCA experiences and school activities are important for the well-being and overall development of the students.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post yesterday: "We are taking a careful and deliberate approach in resuming school activities, as these are important elements of our students' holistic development.

"We are not going back to how things were before... But step by step, we can achieve a 'new normal' in our schools, enabling our students to benefit from a holistic education, in a safe, healthy and supportive environment."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2020, with the headline 'More school, co-curricular activities to resume'. Print Edition | Subscribe