Singapore schools to have one day of home-based learning a week starting April

Photo courtesy: Facebook/Ministry of Education, Singapore
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Ministry of Education, Singapore

The Ministry of Education has announced the implementation of one day of home-based learning (HBL) a week for schools, starting April 2020. This measure will not apply to MOE Kindergartens.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, schools have implemented a strict regime of precautionary measures to safeguard the well-being of our staff and students. With further enhanced measures, we have been able to open schools as planned following the March school holidays. However, the recent spike in imported cases signals a new phase in our nation's fight against COVID-19,” said a statement by MOE. . 

The HBL will be conducted as follows: 

Level Day of HBL
Primary Wednesday
Secondary Thursday
Junior College/Centralised Institute Friday

On days where students are not on HBL, schools will stagger dismissal times to reduce the transient congestion of students.

Schools have been directed to provide instructions to students and parents on accessing HBL materials to continue with the learning. Wherever the HBL requires the use of digital devices, schools will assist students who do not have access with the MOE HQ providing schools with sufficient resources. 

“We have also ensured that our Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) will be accessible to students during this period. While digital technologies will play a key part in HBL, all our students can rely upon the ongoing support of their teachers and other school personnel. Our students in Special Education (SPED) Schools as well as their parents will also receive HBL support for the customised curriculum from SPED teachers through regular contact,” said the statement. 

The MOE also said that schools would remain open for a small group of students whose parents are not able to secure alternative childcare arrangements. Priority will be given to parents in essential services like healthcare. 

Centre-based learning, which had been switched to HBL for the first two weeks of Term 2, will continue in this format until the end of Term 2. For graduating students in Secondary 4 and 5, and JC2, the mode of learning can take the form of video-conferencing in their respective schools or at home, so that 'live' lessons can still be conducted without them having to travel to the centres and mingle across schools.

Co-Curricular Activities will remain suspended for the rest of Term 2. External activities and those that involve mingling of students across schools – Learning Journeys, outdoor learning activities at the Outdoor Adventure Learning Centres and the National School Games – will also remain suspended for the rest of Term 2. The Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation will be cancelled.