SINGAPORE – All center-based classes and enrichment classes are expected to move online activities until the end of Phase 2 (heightened alert) on June 13, or until further notice is given, Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing announced on Sunday (May 16).
This will avoid mixing students from different schools and reduce possible transmissions between that group, he said.
If the centers are unable to move classes online, they will need to suspend them, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Sunday.
Higher education institutes – autonomous universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education – will also reduce attendance on campus, moving more online classes wherever possible, said Chan. But that does not include essential sessions that need to be conducted in person, such as last year’s labs, practices and projects, added the MOE.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, Mr. Chan noted that his ministry is concerned about the recent wave of Covid-19 cases that occurred during interactions and activities that took place outside of schools, including two students from St Andrew’s Junior who tested positive for Covid-19 after attending school. same school bus as an infected student.
That is why enrichment centers and teaching centers are being asked to move classes online, he said.
“We did our best to ensure that we maintain cohorts within each of the narrow schools, and that is how we have been relatively successful in preventing dishonest transmissions within schools. But … there is always a risk of transmission in activities out of school, ”said the minister.
In the future, officials must also work on the assumption that there will be cases that will arise in schools from time to time, he added.
“Although we have so far had no conclusive evidence of school transmission, we should never be complacent,” he said.
The shift to online classes and enrichment classes comes later the emergence of several cases linked to teaching centers in the last days.
Teaching centers that have had students tested positive for Covid-19 include The Learning Lab teaching center in United Square, the HCL Education Center in Katong V, as well as the Learning Point enrichment center in the Parkway Center.
Several teaching centers have already started moving their classes online or anticipating their school holidays since last week.