Schools to reopen on March 23 - What will change?


Schools will reopen on March 23

Following the spike in the number of confirmed cases (47) yesterday, there were widespread speculations that school will be suspended next week after the end of the school holidays. Parents are apprehensive about sending children to school due to the uncertainties in the situation.

MOE, MSF and ECDA have confirmed that schools and kindergartens will reopen next Monday. However, there will be stricter measures in place. These measures WILL supersede the current measures introduced recently for COVID 19.



Measures
  • Compulsory 14 day isolation period (LOA) for those who travel from March 14
ALL Staff and students of schools, pre-schools and student care centres who travelled overseas from March 14 will serve a 14-day isolation period from the date of return. This is on top of the recent ruling of serving Stay Home Notices for returns from ASEAN, Japan, UK and Switzerland from March 17  onwards and for return from all region from March 20. 

In a nutshell, as long as you are out of the country from March 14, you are not allowed to be back in school regardless of the return date. The day you return will be considered as Day 0

  • CCA to suspend for 2 weeks
  • National School Games continues to be suspended until the end of June Holidays
  • Fixed Exam Style Seating for P3 and above, and fixed cluster seating for P1 & 2 and MOE Kindergarten students
  • Wipe-Down Routine in classrooms
  • Assigned seating and wipe-down routines in canteens
  • Assigned play areas for students in reduced group sizes.
  • Home-based learning will be provided for students who are not in school






PRESCHOOL MEASURES
  • Cluster seating for MOE Kindergarten students
  • Health checks and more frequent temperature screening for all staff and students (Twice a day for kindergartens, three times a day for childcare centres)
  • Restriction of visitors into preschool. Parents to drop off and pick up children outside the preschool with the advice to stand further apart from one another
  • Suspension of excursions and field trips to minimise risk of exposing children to large crowds. Daily outdoor play and learning for the children will continue
  • Suspension of large group and communal activities such as assemblies and mass celebrations:
    • Children to proceed directly to classrooms when they arrive in school, where possible
    • Programmes and activities to be carried out in small groups
    • Children to have their meals in their classrooms or to stagger meal times
  • Limit the cross-deployment of staff across centres, where possible
Prior to the announcement, we were worried about school reopening since the mandatory 2 weeks SHN was irrationally staggered ( March 16 and March 20). Our main worry that it would not be able to capture the whole group due to the truncated dates. With the announcement that it would apply to those who travel from March 14, we are a little more at ease. 

We do feel that the measures are not sufficient. The isolation period should be extended to those with family members travelling from March 14 and returning before March 23 to be on the safe side.

In addition,  we feel that the numbers of unlink cases needed to be monitored within the next few days. Should that number increase, it may indicate community transmission is on the rise. If that is the cases, it might make sense to relook into opening school on March 14.







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