School Reopening: Can Singapore Show the Way?

Reopening schools in COVID-19 affected countries will require many considerations. What can countries like Hong Kong, Vietnam and the UAE learn from Singapore where schools have stayed open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

Schools in Hong Kong are deep cleaning and sanitising school buildings during the mandatory closures. But how do cleaning procedures in Singapore's schools compare?

Classrooms at ISS International School in Singapore are cleaned three times a day

Additional sanitising and enhanced cleaning measures are in place at schools across Singapore. As well as daily cleaning, some schools have closed down briefly for deep cleaning, including floor-to-ceiling cleaning and disinfecting of all school buildings; others have tackled this on the weekend. Schools are either hiring third-party companies to do the job or their own cleaning staff.

ISS International School in Singapore says: “All ISS classrooms are disinfected three times a day. All surface tops, doorknobs, floors, are cleaned with disinfectant. As are all communal items, e.g. books, toys, equipment, teaching aids, which are disinfected twice a day.

"All classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizers and students are asked to disinfect their hands before and after handling the above communal items, and wash hands with soap and water before every meal or snack time.

“Canteen tables and benches are cleaned with hot soapy water, and hand soap is refilled before and after canteen breaks at canteen wash facilities. Bathrooms are checked and cleaned throughout the day, ensuring that hand soap and paper towels are refilled and available and toilet seats and floors are disinfected and kept dry.”

In Singapore, all government-run schools have to be SG Clean-certified and meet raised standards for hygiene and sanitation. While international schools in the Red Dot are not required to be certified, some are applying to the government to be SG Clean.

ISS International School explains why: “We are already going above and beyond the necessary measures outlined by the government, and the ISS facilities management are already carrying out a number of increased procedures to ensure the health and safety of our learning community."

Next: Have any individual schools closed in Singapore?

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