Parents asked to submit feedback online amid concerns about Covid-19 infections in schools

Seven primary schools will move to HBL for the next two weeks. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - The Government is calling for parents to submit their feedback online amid concerns about Covid-19 safe management measures in schools and tuition centres.

Minister of State for Education Sun Xueling said that many parents have written to her with questions, feedback and suggestions.

"Many of you are concerned about schools and tuition centres remaining open. Some of you have asked for the holidays to be brought forward. Others have said that you are unable to manage children on home-based learning (HBL) as you still have to work," she wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday (May 16).

Ms Sun, who is also Minister of State for Social and Family Development, urged parents to go to this website to share their views.

Seven primary schools will move to HBL for the next two weeks, until the end of term two on May 28, after a small number of pupils in those schools tested positive for Covid-19.

The cases are linked to tuition centres, and none of the pupils seems to have caught the virus while in school thus far.

The Ministry of Education announced the move on Saturday and said it was a precautionary measure.

The schools are: Kong Hwa School, Palm View Primary School, St Andrew's Junior School, St Margaret's Primary School, St Stephen's School, Yio Chu Kang Primary School and Yu Neng Primary School.

Pupils at Yio Chu Kang Primary are already on HBL and this will be extended until May 28.

Some parents and Facebook users have called for a wider shift towards HBL or for school holidays to be brought forward, given the recent spike in community infections and cases in schools.

Ms Shirleen Tan called for all schools to switch to HBL till the end of the month, or to bring forward the June holidays.

Ms Tan, who was commenting on a Facebook post by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Sunday, added: "It's only two weeks away. No harm in academics, but definitely helpful in curbing the spread."

Mr Chan said in the post that the Government's immediate priority is to ring-fence the schools with confirmed cases to safeguard the well-being of students and staff.

Ms Chua Hwee Koon questioned the effectiveness of ring-fencing the seven schools when children from these schools may have siblings in other schools who still need to attend lessons in person.

Another Facebook user, Kelly KaiWee, asked if parents who are worried about sending their children to school can look after them at home.

She added that working parents can continue to send their children to school, as the lower attendance will help reduce the risk of transmission.

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