Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning will implement full home-based learning from Wednesday, 8 April 2020, onwards. In addition, preschools and student care centres will be closed but provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and are unable to make alternative care arrangements.
Singapore Schools Move to 100% Home-based Learning from 8 April 2020
The closure of schools will take place for around three weeks till 4 May 2020. Classes are set to resume on 5 May but the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social and Family Development will monitor the situation to assess if the measures should be extended.
Earlier this week, schools had tried out one day of home-based learning – Wednesday for primary schools, Thursday for secondary schools and Friday for junior colleges.
In a media briefing, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung explained that the home-based learning held this week had helped to highlight various teething issues. He said that he does not expect the June school holidays to be impacted by the shift to home-based learning.
Impact of Home-Based Learning – No Mid-Year Exams, National Exams to Continue
As a result of the schools closure and shift to full home-based learning from 8 April 2020, Minister Ong also announced that there will be no mid-year examination this year.
However, national exams will continue to be held as it is considered as essential. This means that PSLE, O-level, N-level and A-level exams, which will take place at the end of the year, will not be affected, at least for the time being. However, Minister Ong also said that, as a result of home-based learning, if necessary, adjustments will be made to the examinations and the grading of the examinations.
He also noted that this arrangement was not the most ideal from an education point of view as there was also a social aspect to learning. Nonetheless, he encouraged students to apply the lessons that they had learnt in school, such as about good hygiene practices and temperature taking, at home. He ended off by encouraging students to continue to stay curious about learning.
Suspension of Preschools & Student Care Centres
National Development Minister Desmond Lee also shared that parents should keep their preschoolers at home while the preschools are shut. He said that the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will be compiling a site of different resources which parents can use with their children at home.
He also said that minimum attendance requirements will be waived during this period so that subsidies can continue to be disbursed.