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MOE schools to tighten safe management measures amid rise in COVID-19 cases

July 06, 2021

Original Article: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/moe-schools-safe-management-measures-covid-19-14743404

Remaining National School Games competitions and external activities such as external CCAs will be suspended as the Ministry of Education (MOE) enhances current safe management measures amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Singapore on Tuesday (May 4) announced tightened community measures, which are set to be in place from May 8 to May 30.

Enhanced measures will be rolled out at MOE kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, special education schools, junior colleges, Millennia Institute and institutes of higher learning (IHLs).

“The latest measures aim to reduce intermingling of students across schools/institutions and minimise external activities, while ensuring that teaching and learning continue,” MOE added in a press release.

These measures include exam-style fixed classroom seating and the reduction of group size across activities from eight people to five people.

In-person class and lecture sizes must be kept to 50 people and larger classes and lectures should be held online, MOE said.

Activities conducted in public spaces are suspended.

EXAMS TO CONTINUE

After-school care arrangements and school-based CCAs will continue, subject to the tightened measures.

"Both school-based mid-year assessments and the mid-year GCE O- and A-Level Mother Tongue Language examinations will proceed," said MOE, adding that external activities will be temporarily halted.

The remaining National School Games competitions will be suspended. This is to minimise the intermingling of students across schools and institutions, MOE said. 

“We will monitor the situation and explore resumption of the remaining competitions when conditions permit,” the ministry added.

Applications for the 2021 Direct School Admission exercises, which open on May 5, and the selection process will be conducted electronically. 

"The selection for the upcoming polytechnic and ITE Early Admissions Exercise will also be conducted largely via electronic means such as online interviews, or portfolio submissions over email," the Education Ministry added.

IHLs will adopt similar tightening of safe management measures during the same period. Internships and work attachments will continue, with students adhering to the prevailing measures at the organisations they are attached with.

Polytechnic graduation ceremonies from May 8 will also be converted to virtual ceremonies.

The Education Ministry has also urged private education institutions offering pre-tertiary and tertiary courses, as well as private tuition and enrichment classes, to follow the tightened measures.

“It remains crucial that all students and staff continue to adhere to screening measures and practise good personal hygiene. We strongly urge parents and students to play their part by continuing to be socially responsible," MOE said.

“If feeling unwell, students and staff should seek medical attention immediately, and not come to school or IHL campuses.”

TRACETOGETHER-ONLY SAFEENTRY FROM MAY 17

In tandem with the national roll-out, TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be implemented in schools and institutions from May 17.

MOE said students should have their TraceTogether token or app with them throughout the school day to facilitate accurate contact tracing, should the need arise.

Visitors and staff members must check in using their TraceTogether token or app to be allowed entry into schools and institutions and must have their token or app with them throughout, MOE said.

The ministry will “continue to monitor the situation closely and make adjustments in accordance with the national posture”, it said.

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