Students from graduating cohorts will return to school “in a careful and calibrated manner” starting 19 May 2020, said Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung.
Whilst the four-week mid-year holidays will carry on as planned from 5 May, students from Primary 6, Secondary 4 and 5, JC2 and Pre-U 3, will be the first to return for face-to-face classes, two weeks into the break.
In a Facebook post on 2 May 2020, the Education Minister said: “We know that these students have been anxious about the preparation for their national exams, and that home-based learning cannot fully substitute face to face coaching and lessons.”
Mr Ong said that their return to school will be done in a careful and calibrated manner, with ample safe distancing.
Besides returning in small groups, on selected days in a week, throughout the day, they will be spaced out within the school compound. Students will meet teachers one-to-one, or in small groups. The wearing of masks will be made compulsory.
Priority will be given to students requiring school facilities for coursework and practical sessions, including those who need additional support and remediation.
The first two weeks of the school holidays will be protected time for teachers.
“This is something we always do, to allow teachers some time to rest and recharge, although we know many of them use the time to plan lessons and stay in touch with students,” he said.
Teachers rostered during this period will be given protected rest time in the later half of May.
Throughout the holidays, schools will continue to engage students with greater needs and provide care for those whose parents work in essential services and are unable to secure alternative care arrangements.
Separately, the Government has also just announced initial steps to allow activities such as barbers, home-based business, laundromats, selected food and pet supply outlets to resume during the circuit breaker period from 12 May 2020.