Postponed National School Games will not run beyond August; cancellation not ruled out: MOE

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung (second from left) during the National School Games opening ceremony at the OCBC Arena on Jan 21, 2020. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The National School Games (NSG), which has been suspended till after the May 30-June 28 holidays owing to the coronavirus pandemic, will not take place beyond August due to examinations, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Sunday (March 22).

The eight-month long annual school competition, which was supposed to run from January to August, will now have to be completed in two months if it resumes after the June school holidays.

Some 60,000 student-athletes compete across 29 sports in the NSG.

Tan Chen Kee, MOE's divisional director of its student development curriculum division, said: "It will not be feasible for NSG to be extended beyond August as schools also have to prepare students for exams in Term 4.

"MOE will continue to monitor the situation closely and assess whether to reformat or resume the Games, or whether it is in the best interest of our students to cancel the rest of the Games for this year instead."

On Feb 7, the MOE said all external school and inter-school activities, including the NSG, would be suspended until the end of the March 14-22 school holidays.

Last Thursday, the Ministry said that the NSG would continue to be suspended till after the June holidays as part of stricter measures to prevent the coronavirus from being spread by those who had returned from overseas trips.

Co-curricular activities (CCAs) are also on hold for two weeks from Monday.

During the Sars crisis in 2003, Singapore had also cancelled or postponed school competitions and CCAs for a period.

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