Singapore is implementing new stricter measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as the number of cases have recently increased to “more than 50 new cases daily”.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that all schools and Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) will enter full home-based learning from 8 April to 4 May 2020.
Pre-schools and student care centres will also be closed. However, they will still provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and are unable to make alternative care arrangements.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung added that all Primary schools, Secondary schools and Junior Colleges have tested one day of home-based learning this week.
The trial went smoothly and served as an opportunity to resolve teething issues, he said.
In addition to the closures, schools will also do away with mid-year exams, but national exams including PSLE, ‘O’ Levels and ‘A’ Levels will continue as they are are considered essential.
As the numbers of students taking these exams are not large, they can be decentralised and taken with safe distancing measures.
The situation will continue to be monitored and the exams can still be adjusted if needed.
New polytechnic and ITE students will still go to campus for registration purposes when a new semester reopens in the next one or two weeks.
They will go to their campuses in “small batches” and the schools will prepare them for online-learning.
Universities will conduct all lessons online, and exams will be converted into take-home assignments.
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