No year-end exams for Pri 3 and 4 pupils due to Covid-19; classes to resume progressively from Oct 11

The Ministry of Education said the decision to cancel exams will allow more time for curriculum recovery due to disruptions brought about by Covid-19. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Year-end examinations for Primary 3 and 4 pupils will be cancelled, in an unprecedented move by the Education Ministry amid rising Covid-19 infections in the community.

But face-to-face classes for Primary 3 to 6 pupils will resume from next Monday (Oct 11), followed by Primary 1 and 2 pupils next Wednesday (Oct 13), said the Ministry of Education (MOE).

In a statement on Thursday, the ministry said the decision to cancel exams will "allow more time for curriculum recovery due to disruptions brought about by Covid-19". This is the first time that exams have been cancelled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

MOE said there are about 79,000 pupils in Primary 3 and Primary 4 this year. Primary 5 year-end examinations will continue under safe management measures, said MOE.

This will allow both pupils and parents to get a better understanding of the pupil's learning progress in relation to the Achievement Level scoring system - first implemented this year - prior to taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).

Primary 1 and 2 pupils do not sit year-end examinations.

Meanwhile, in-person lessons for primary schools will progressively start from next Monday.

From Oct 11, special education schools with primary and junior sections will phase the return of students in line with primary schools, said a MOE spokesman in response to queries from The Straits Times.

Those that offer the national curriculum will also adhere to the year-end examination guidelines for primary schools.

Since Sept 27, Primary 1 to 5 pupils, as well as those from special education schools, have been placed on home-based learning (HBL), to minimise the risk of school-based transmission and protect those under the age of 12, who are currently not eligible for vaccination. This is also to reduce any possible disruption to the cohort taking PSLE, said MOE.

Other details provided by MOE include:

- Oct 22, which is the day after the PSLE marking exercise, will be declared a school holiday. This means that pupils will not need to report to school from Oct 18 to Oct 22, and there will be no HBL. This will not apply to pupils from special education schools.

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- Parents of Primary 1 to 5 pupils will be required to do an antigen rapid test on their children at home on Friday or Saturday (Oct 8 or 9) prior to returning to school. They will need to report these results via a link that will be sent to them.

- Since exams for Primary 3 and 4 pupils are cancelled, schools will draw on information from a range of school-based assessments that were conducted throughout the year to report on the pupil's learning progress and provide feedback, as well as make recommendations on their subject combination.

Schools, for instance, will help children decide whether to offer Standard or Foundation level for specific subjects from the start of Primary 5.

- In tandem with the resumption of in-person classes in primary schools, face-to-face lessons for pupils aged 12 and below at tuition, enrichment centres and private education institutions may resume from next Monday.

However, the ministry encouraged tuition and enrichment centres to continue conducting these classes online as much as possible.

- Private education institutions with similar pupil profiles and that conduct similar activities to primary schools are strongly advised to take reference from measures for schools, and adopt them where possible.

"This includes phasing the return of students, and self-testing of students prior to returning to school," said the ministry, adding that these institutions may also continue to implement HBL for their pupils where feasible.

- Co-curricular activities and other after-school activities will continue to be suspended for all levels, including secondary schools, junior colleges and Millennia Institute.

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