From April 1, all MOE primary schools will move to home learning every Wednesday, secondary schools every Thursday, and junior colleges every Friday. Schools will remain open for a small group of students whose parents are not able to secure alternative childcare arrangements.
The MOE says:
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, schools have implemented a strict regime of precautionary measures to safeguard the well-being of our staff and students. With further enhanced measures, we have been able to open schools as planned following the March school holidays.
“However, the recent spike in imported cases signals a new phase in our nation's fight against COVID-19. To support further safe distancing, schools will progressively transit to a blended learning model, starting with one day of Home-Based Learning (HBL) a week.”
Students at MOE schools will have four to five hours of home-based learning on their dedicated day off campus, of which two hours can be using digital devices.
The government appears to be preparing for the possibility of closing all schools in Singapore – or at increasing the number of HBL days – as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases continues to rise.
HBL is the latest in a series of additional precautionary measures to be introduced by the government following several cases of Covid-19 at local pre-schools and international schools in Singapore.
Singapore’s largest pre-school operator, PCF Sparkletots, closed all 360 of its centres for four days after 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at its Fengshan branch. There have also been cases at Dover Court International School,UWCSEA (Dover),UWCSEA (East) and Singapore American School (SAS). Read more here.
The majority of Singapore’s 90-plus international schools are open or are currently on their spring break. However, since last week, a number of international schools including Tanglin Trust School, Dover Court, SAS and International Community School (ICS) have already decided, unilaterally, to close and move to online learning for a limited time.
As international schools return for Term 3, and in light of the MOE's move to HBL, we can expect to see more schools move to an online learning programme. Parents should check with their individual school for clarification.