SINGAPORE: More than 4,000 primary, secondary and junior college students are continuing to go to school during the “circuit breaker” period, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Monday (Apr 20).
This is about 1 per cent of students across the primary and secondary schools and junior colleges.
“These are primarily children whose parents work in essential services and do not have alternative care arrangements, or those who might need additional school support, such as access to digital devices or regular face-to-face engagement,” said Ms Liew Wei Li, director of schools at MOE.
All schools will continue to remain open “with the necessary precautionary and safe distancing measures in place” to assist a small number of students who need additional support during full home-based learning, said Ms Liew.
“During this period, schools have minimal staffing levels, to support students in school and to sustain school operations.”
About 10,000 pre-schoolers, or 5 per cent of all children enrolled in pre-schools, are tapping on the limited services of pre-schools during this period, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) had said on Thursday (Apr 16).
The 10,000 children are spread across more than 1,200 pre-schools across Singapore, ECDA had said. Some of them require limited service only on certain days or periods.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Apr 3 that schools would be suspended for about a month from Apr 8 to May 4, as part of stricter social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Students across all levels have since shifted to full home-based learning, and all pre-schools, kindergartens and student care centres have suspended their general services until the end of the circuit breaker period.
About 12,500 devices, including tablets and laptops, have been loaned out to students so far, said the Education Ministry. A total of 1,200 Internet enabling devices including dongles have also been loaned out to students.