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?
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

How have schools in other countries restricted sports, extra-curricular activities and other events?

Terms 2 and 3 are busy times on the school calendar with international fairs, students plays and school reports. But, as part of social distancing measures, school trips, sporting events, field trips and residential camps, as well as large events on and off campus, have all been cancelled. Schools are postponing parent-teacher evenings and sending student reports via parent apps such as iSAMS instead; and lunch breaks and assemblies are staggered to avoid mass gatherings of students.

Students are still expected take part in all scheduled school activities such as PE and swimming, and school pools are being cleaned and chlorinated regularly to ensure that they are safe. Most extra-curricular activities are continuing as normal, but external providers have to declare any travel plans.

With many school open days currently on hold, schools are launching virtual school tours on their website. For example, Stamford American International School (SAIS) has launched live virtual tours of its campus in in Singapore. This is a timely decision that helps to overcome the restrictions on visitors imposed by the COVID-19 situation – and to deal with enquiries from parents currently living overseas.

SAIS says parents can "meet our Admissions Manager (virtually!) who will show you around the school and answer all your questions, wherever you are."

Next: What can schools learn from other countries in terms of supporting children's wellbeing during these unsettling times?

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