Home-based learning for primary schools until Oct 7; tuition to move online under new Covid-19 rules

Home-based learning will be extended by a day to Oct 7 for all primary and special education schools, the multi-ministry task force announced on Friday (Sept 24).

As Children's Day falls on Oct 8, this would extend the home-based learning period to a full two weeks, said task force co-chair and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

This means the pupils will return to school on Oct 11, a Monday.

"We are doing it for two weeks, and then we will review thereafter whether or not it should continue," said Mr Wong.

The extension is an added precaution amid the spike in Covid-19 cases.

The task force said it is to protect younger children, who are not yet medically eligible for vaccinations.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) had previously announced that home-based learning would last from Sept 27 to Oct 6.

The task force said private education institutions (PEI) will also have to implement home-based learning for all pupils aged 12 years and below from Sept 27 to Oct 10.

However, pre-school services in PEIs will be allowed to remain open.

During this same period, in-person tuition and enrichment classes for pupils aged 12 years and below must pivot online or otherwise be suspended, said the task force.

While pre-schools, MOE kindergartens, KCare Services and student care centres will remain open during this period, parents are encouraged to keep their children at home if they can.

This year, the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) starts on Sept 30 and ends on Oct 6.

Primary 6 students will go on a study break from Sept 25 to 29 before the exam, similar to the arrangement last year.

The move to home-based learning comes amid a surge in Covid-19 infections in Singapore.

Singapore reported 1,504 new daily Covid-19 cases as at noon on Sept 23, the highest since the pandemic began early last year.