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Students in close contact with COVID-19 cases can return to school after negative antigen rapid test result: MOE

Under updated rules by the Education Ministry, students and staff can go to school if they are well and have a negative ART test on the day itself. 

Students in close contact with COVID-19 cases can return to school after negative antigen rapid test result: MOE

Students wearing protective face masks attend a class at Yio Chu Kang Secondary School. (File photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Students who are identified as close contacts of COVID-19 cases will be able to return to school if they are well and have a negative antigen rapid test (ART) result, announced the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Sunday (Oct 10) in an update to its measures.

This is in line with the Ministry of Health's (MOH) updates to the national COVID-19 testing and isolation protocols announced on Saturday, said MOE in a joint press release with the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).

From Monday, MOH will issue a 7-day health risk warning to students in close contact with COVID-19 cases. At the same time, MOE will no longer issue leave of absence and approved absence for primary schools, secondary schools, special education schools, junior colleges and Millennia Institute.

During the seven days, students can return to school if they continue to be well and have a negative ART result before they leave for school daily.

Similarly, students and staff members currently under existing quarantine orders, leave of absence or approved absence can return to school for lessons as long as they are well and have a negative ART result on the day they go to school.

Institutes of higher learning "will similarly take alignment with MOH’s revised protocols", said MOE, adding that the measures are "in line with the national approach to living with COVID-19".

SITTING FOR EXAMS

"The national examinations are important milestones in a student’s educational journey, and MOE and SEAB recognise candidates’ preference to have the opportunity to take their national year-end examination where possible," said MOE and SEAB.

National year-end examination candidates on health risk warning who are well will be allowed to sit for their papers, including the science practical exams, by meeting the following requirements:

  • Inform the school of their intent to sit for their examinations
  • Test negative with the ART on the first day
  • Test negative with the ART on the day of their papers before leaving home
  • Show a photo of their ART kit with negative results, with their identity card next to it, to the invigilators

Candidates on medical leave will be allowed to sit for their exams if they have fully recovered.

"On the day of examination, they must take a self-swab ART at home and show a photograph of their ART kits with negative result to the invigilators on arrival," said MOE.

The ministry added that similar to previous years, candidates who miss any national examination paper can apply for special consideration, provided they have valid reasons, such as COVID-19-related, medical leave or compassionate reasons.

Special consideration will be given to the students through "a well-established procedure which awards candidates with projected grades through a fair and rigorous evidence-based methodology", said MOE.

"In awarding a grade for these affected candidates, SEAB considers multiple sources of data, such as the candidate’s performance in the other papers for that affected subject in national and school-based examinations as well as the school cohort's performance in national and school-based examinations, to ensure a fair assessment for all candidates.

"All special consideration applications are assessed on each case’s merit, to ensure that the grades awarded are as accurate and fair as possible," the authorities added.

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Source: CNA/jt(rw)

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