Schools in S'pore reopen with Covid-19 safe management measures in place for students returning to class

Pupils at Alexandra Primary School on June 28, the first day schools reopened for a new term. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Schools reopened for a new term on Monday (June 28) with safe management measures such as mask wearing and fixed seats in place for those returning to class.

Those attending Primary 4 to 6, Secondary 3 to 5, junior colleges and Millennia Institute for in-person classes will also have staggered recess times and have their temperatures taken.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said: "The safety of our students, educators and staff remains our top priority."

Earlier reports said the staggered return to class is to help keep students and staff safe.

Secondary 1 and 2 students will be engaged in home-based learning until Wednesday and return to in-person classes on Thursday, while pupils in Primary 1 to 3 will be doing home-based learning until July 6.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Monday that more than 80 per cent of personnel working in schools, including teachers and canteen vendors, have received two doses of the vaccine.

It added that more than 311,000 eligible students - about 90 per cent of those invited - have registered for their vaccination appointments. About 92 per cent of these students have received their first dose as at Sunday.

MOE said that it is bringing back older students first as they are more able to comply with safe management measures, which are especially important as new Covid-19 variants are more virulent.

Disinfecting premises daily, cleaning high-touch surfaces and wiping down tables after use are some of the safe management measures that continue to be in place in schools.

The ministry added that the older students "will serve as good role models for the younger students".

"MOE is currently monitoring the situation closely and will take the necessary measures to safeguard the well-being of all students and staff."

Similar to pre-Covid-19 and Term 3 day one attendance last year, the ministry said, the average attendance for students attending Primary 4 to 6, and Secondary 3 to 5 on Monday was about 97 per cent.

In his post, Mr Chan thanked students, staff and parents for their support.

He said: "A big thank you to our teachers and school staff for your efforts in ensuring that schools reopened smoothly today for both in-school students and home-based learning students. And to parents, we are grateful for your strong partnership and understanding in helping to ensure that our schools remain safe places for our children."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.