On Friday, January 31, the Singaporean Ministry of Education (MOE) releases its official announcement urging students and staff under a compulsory leave of absence (LOA) to comply with all precautionary measures to stop any possibility for the Wuhan coronavirus to spread in the country.
In its press statement, the MOE confirmed that 852 students from various schools and educational institutions and 115 school personnel were granted 14-day LOAs since Thursday.
For those who were given an LOA, they are requested to:
– Stay in contact with the authorities at all times
– Stay at home as much as possible and not go out if it is not important
– Do not have visitors at home for the meantime
– Reduce the time they are in a public place and mingling with others
– Constantly check their temperature and health.
The MOE granted these compulsory LOAs since Monday for all the students, teachers, administrators and staff who are not showing symptoms but have been in mainland China.
With the LOA, the MOE can reduce the risks of the virus spreading to schools and educational institutions and still help students continue with their studies.
According to the ministry, while the measures are not required, they hope that those covered by the LOA act responsibly and abide by these measures.
According to their statement, they also verified that one student and MOE staff have travelled to Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus outbreak. They will be placed in quarantine because they have a high risk of contracting complications because of the virus.
The rest of the students and staff with an LOA travelled to other provinces in China and only need to take the 14-day absence.
How Can Your Children Keep Up With Their Studies?
For parents who have children given a compulsory LOA after travelling to China, there are several options available to help your child catch up with his studies.
Here are the three major ways on how you can help your children with their studies:
Online tuition platforms are becoming popular for many students in Singapore in recent years.
Through these platforms, students can select tutors who offer what they need. The sessions are done online with the tutors presenting the lecture through video conferences or clips and test their students through online exams and activities.
Students can even ask their tutors the questions they may have about the topic during their sessions or send them through email or Whatsapp.
What’s great with online tuition is the flexibility of these classes. Your child can do it anytime they want and wherever they may be. Parents will also benefit from online tuition because they are an affordable way to keep students busy and let them pursue the lessons they like.
Do check with your tutor if he or she is able to conduct tuition through Skype or Facetime instead of the usual tuition session at your home. With this way, you don’t forgo any sessions because you are confined at home.
E-learning using the Singapore Student Learning Space
The MOE has said that all the students under LOA will be put under a home-based learning plan to help them continue their studies. This plan is seen in the Singapore Student Learning Space (SSLS), a special platform that allows students to keep up with their lessons.
The platform was first introduced in 2017 and now used by almost all the schools in Singapore. It contains various resources students can use to keep up with their lectures and interests.
Like online tuition, your child can access the platform at any time and study at their own pace. He can even look back in previous lectures in such a way he can see where he is wrong and how to correct it.
The online platform can also reach out to his fellow students and his teachers through the messaging system it has.
Teachers can also send online tests to students to see if they understood the material. Students can easily see which answers they got wrong and why it is wrong.
Finally, self-study can also be done by students while they complete their LOA. In self-study, your child can check his books and lectures at his own pace with or without the help of online platforms.
However, this can be monotonous for students to do all day, especially if the topics they have to study are difficult. As parents, you can do the following to keep your child inspired as he self-study.
Introduce other materials for your child to study
It can be boring for some students to read their books for long periods of time. It reduces their will to continue studying, especially if the material the book is teaching them is filled with concepts.
You can change this by introducing other learning materials for your children to study such as videos, digital books, and even online tests. This will stimulate your kids to focus on and keep information easily.
Mix up their study schedule
While scheduling your child’s self-study period, don’t pile up all the hard subjects or ask them to study everything every day.
Balance the subjects together so your child won’t get confused with concepts. For example, you can combine math with social sciences instead of combining math with science.
Get them to write notes
As your child studies, inspire them to write notes. Notes can help your child see what they understand and remember from their readings on their own words.
It also gives them an easier way to review the concepts without having to reread passages.
Give them mini-tests
While your child self-studies, you should see how much they have learned. Create small tests that can check how far their studies have taken or you can sign them up for online quizzes or free test papers and mock exam papers.
You can also check their progress through online platforms like the SLSS.
Allow them to take breaks
Studying all day can be tiring, especially for your child’s brain.
After every subject, give them time to process what they learned before you ask them to do anything else. These breaks can be as short as 5 minutes to an hour.
As a parent, it is understandable that you are worried and concerned about LOA and its impact on your child’s progress in his education. We have shown you in the above that there is plenty of action you can take to ensure that your child will not be left behind.
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