The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced the resumption of handpicked activities in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and Schools from August 10. The news comes at a time when Singapore continues to ease Covid-19 safe management measures gradually.
This includes Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), primary and secondary schools, Millennia Institute (MI), junior colleges (JC), and Special Education (SPED) schools.
A press release from MOE stated that schools could start specified activities from Tuesday (August 10). However, some activities are yet to receive the greenlight.
With a larger population having received the Covid-19 jab, Singapore has taken steps towards resuming school activities. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung was confident that Singapore would be among the countries with the highest number of vaccinated people by mid-August globally.
Safety Measures Put in Place by MOE for School Activities
In compliance with Singapore’s change following the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry has eased some measures regarding activities that will take place in schools and IHLs.
Despite the vaccination status of a student, the following changes will take place from August 10 as per MOE’s recommendation.
- The ministry said it would allow outdoor and indoor masked-on activities for up to groups of five in schools.
- Center-based in-person learning for all groups can go on. This also applies to non-graduating students.
- On the other hand, primary schools can resume masked–on, creative free play inside their classes.
- Secondary schools, SPED schools, MI, and JCs will go on with physical Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs).
- At the same time, physical activities held in external venues or involving external vendors can only host a maximum of 50 people.
Safety Measures for Institutes of Higher Learning
- Work attachments and internships will go on. This will occur while complying with safety guidelines and measures of institutions where students are undertaking their internship.
- Physical events, lecture sizes, and in-person classes will continue with numbers not exceeding 50 people.
- Outdoor and indoor mask-on activities at IHLs will resume in cohorts of five. This includes school activities such as physical Co-Curricular Activities, group/project work, and small group consultations.
- Indoor activities without masks will be allowed in groups of five as long as all members have received the Covid-19 vaccine.
- Outdoor activities without masks will also be allowed in groups of five.
On top of all these, Privately-Funded Schools and Private Education Institutions must adhere to all existing national safety management measures.
MOE has also advised those carrying out similar activities and those with similar student profiles in IHL and school to take safety measures recommendations and embrace them where necessary.
For now, enrichment and tuition centers should regularly adhere to and check MOE’s safe management measure requirements.
For arts and culture as well as sports classes, they should consider taking reference from the National Arts Council and Sport Singapore’s latest guidelines. MOE encourages those in charge to conduct these classes virtually.
How will all IHLs and Schools Ensure Safety Measures Remain in Place?
To safeguard all students and staff well-being, the Ministry of Education further said IHLs and schools would continue complying with the safety management measures by:
Maintain fixed exam-style seating
Social distance has been key in ensuring zero transmission of the virus in schools. If the student wants to speak to their classmate, let them know it’s possible to do this from a distance.
This will ensure minimum interactions from both students and teachers, which keeps them safe. Remember, students and teachers come from different homes.
In those homes, we have vaccinated people and those who are yet to receive the vaccines.
Students should wear masks at all times
Always remind your children to have their masks on when they leave home for school. Keep reminding them of the importance of hygiene during these pandemic times.
You can also pack an extra mask and show them how to dispose of the dirty one. Remind students to wash hands when they remove masks to eat or drink
Wiping down tables and equipment after every use
Disinfection and cleaning is an essential part of minimizing exposure to Covid-19. Parents and teachers should ensure students use tables and equipment that has been thoroughly cleaned.
The best way to promote hygiene during this pandemic period is through daily cleaning. Cleaning using soap and detergents is the best way to keep germs out.
Washing hands frequently
The hands touch many things; hence they carry germs from one place to another. Parents and teachers should encourage students to wash their hands using soap and water. They can also use hand sanitizers.
Disinfecting premises daily
Disinfecting surfaces daily removes germs on surfaces by alleviating contaminants. It further decreases the risk of getting an infection from surfaces.
Cleaning high-touch surfaces regularly
High-touch surfaces are prone to germs and disease spread because many people use these tools. They can include light switches, door handles, changing rooms, chairs, and other shared equipment.
Our hands come in contact with many things during the day, and this could lead to the spread of microorganisms. The best way to carry out the cleaning of high touch surfaces include:
- Pre-clean, remove dirt using disposable towels
- Through cleaning, where you can use detergent and hot water.
- Rinse to remove loosened dirt
- Disinfection is where you apply a chemical disinfectant to remove microorganisms.
- Final rinse, removing disinfectant with hot and clean water.
- Drying, use a drying item once. In this case, disposable towels will work perfectly.
MOE has encouraged those working with students under 12 years to receive the vaccine at least by October 1, 2021.
The move will ensure the community and educational institution remain safe.
In the meantime, MOE will continue to monitor the situation while reviewing how IHLs and schools can continue with the remaining activities, should the current Covid-19 situation allow.
CCAs remain an integral part of a child’s development when in school. Most students aren’t able to discover what they’re passionate about until when they become part of Co-Curricular Activities.
By easing restrictions on CCAs in schools and Institutions of Higher Learning, the Ministry of Education has demonstrated its continuous support towards developing different skills in students.