COVID-19: All students and staff must wear masks in schools – MOE

·Editorial Team
·2 min read
SINGAPORE - JUNE 08:  Students wearing protective masks commute to school by bus on June 8, 2020 in Singapore. The authority decided to remove all safe distancing stickers and markers from trains and buses as they deemed it is too challenging for commuters to keep their social distance. From June 2, Singapore embarked on phase one of a three phase approach against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it began to ease the partial lockdown measures by allowing the safe re-opening of economic activities which do not pose high risk of transmission. This include the resumption of selected health services, re-opening of schools with school children attending schools on rotational basis, manufacturing and production facilities, construction sites that adhere to safety measures, finance and information services that do not require interactions and places of worship, amongst others. Retail outlets, social and entertainment activities will remain closed and dining in at food and beverage outlets will still be disallowed. The government will further ease restriction by the middle of June if the infection rate within the community remains low over the next two weeks.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Students wearing protective masks commute to school by bus on 8 June 2020 in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — All students and staff must wear masks, and not face shields, when in school and on campus, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Friday (14 May). 

Only those who have special needs or medical conditions are exempted from the mask-wearing requirement. Face shields should not be used as a substitute for mask wear, except for medical reasons or where the child is 12 years or younger.

The tightened safe management measures announced by MOE are in line with the national Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) stance, which will take effect from Sunday to 13 June.

The measures will apply to MOE Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, Special Education (SPED) schools, junior colleges, Millennia Institute and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL).

In addition, classes will be strictly cohortised, with lectures capped at a maximum of 50 persons to reduce intermingling of students. Group size across all activities will be reduced from five to two persons.

Centre-based classes such as the MOE Language Centres and the Elective Programme Centres will be conducted online.

All Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) will be reformatted and conducted online (eCCA) while other external activities such as external CCAs will remain suspended during this period.

In-person events will be suspended while all large-scale events will continue to be cancelled or postponed, or held virtually, if possible.

In addition, schools will enforce fixed seating with one metre spacing for recess, with no intermingling. School-based activities and after-school care arrangements will continue, subject to the tightened SMMs. Both school-based mid-year assessments and the mid-year GCE O- and A-Level mother tongue language examinations will proceed.

All IHLs will continue to keep in-person class and lecture sizes to no more than 50 persons. Other larger classes and lectures are to be conducted online. Dining in canteens and dining halls at the IHLs can continue with SMMs in place, given that students and staff are on campuses for a longer period of time. Examinations will be conducted in classrooms with a maximum class size of 50 persons. Where possible, IHLs will conduct examinations online.

Private Education Institutions offering pre-tertiary and tertiary courses must follow the tightened national SMMs.

While private tuition and enrichment centres may continue operating in Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), they should consider online lessons as the default arrangement during this period.

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