Singapore

Students to start once-a-week home lessons from today

Starting today, students across the island will have their lessons at home once a week, in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced last Friday that for primary school pupils, the move will begin today, secondary school students tomorrow, and junior colleges and Millennia Institute students on Fridays.

This will prepare parents and students for more frequent home-based learning, if and when it is required, the ministry said.

For the remaining school days of the week, dismissal times will be staggered to reduce congestion as students leave school and take public transport or school buses home.

To address concerns parents may have, the MOE has compiled a kit explaining home-based learning and how parents can support their children during this period.

The MOE has said that students who do not have access to digital devices will receive support from their schools.

Schools will remain open for a small group of students whose parents are not able to make alternative childcare arrangements.

In its Parents Kit, the MOE explained home-based learning as e-learning through online assignments, and receiving notes or worksheets through e-mail, as well as getting hard-copy assignments, such as textbooks.

"Every school has a different plan, based on the needs of their students. So don't compare, okay?" the kit said.

In families with more than one child, parents may teach children to take turns learning on the digital device, it said, adding: "Not all of the time will require the use of an Internet device."

A primary school pupil will have four hours of home-based learning each day, a secondary school student will have five hours, and a junior college or Millennia Institute student will have six hours.

Schools may loan devices to students who need them and will also help if families have no Internet access at home.

SUPERVISE

The MOE said parents are not required to take over the role of teaching at home but to support children to learn independently.

"For younger children, you may need to supervise them to some extent... but allow them to attempt the assignments on their own," it said.

It encouraged parents to set up a routine for their children with study, meal and rest timings, and set aside an area conducive for learning such as the dining table or study desk.

"Working parents should take this time to think about alternative childcare arrangements should the situation change and the number of days for home-based learning is increased," said MOE.

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Education