Singapore Phase 2 (Heightened Alert): Tightened Safety Measures For All Schools And Institutes Of Higher Learning

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As Singapore goes under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that they will be tightening safe management measures in all schools.

The ministry said this is for the continued safety and well-being of all students and staff members.

According to a press release by MOE on Tuesday (20 July), tighter safety measures will be for all MOE Kindergartens (MKs), primary and secondary schools, Special Education (SPED) schools, junior colleges, Millennia Institute and the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).

Safe Management Measures Tightened In Singapore Schools Under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)

Image source: Facebook / Ministry of Education, Singapore

In line with Singapore transitioning to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from 22 July to 18 August 2021, tightened safety measures will take place in schools.

MOE says this is to curb the risk of further Covid-19 transmission. This way, schools including SPED schools, MKS and IHLs get to remain open and minimise the impact on students’ learning.

The additional safe management measures for these schools in Singapore under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) include the following:

  • The suspension of all in-person Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and non-essential enrichment
    These will be suspended till further notice. CCAs may also be reformatted and conducted online (eCCA) where “possible and meaningful.”
    MOE adds other external activities such as external CCAs and learning journeys remain suspended.

  • Individual mask-off activities will only be conducted in either outdoor or well-ventilated venues
    Schools should only conduct individual mask-off activities for physical education classes in outdoor or well-ventilated venues. No group activities will take place.
    Mask-off music and drama classes will also be suspended.

  • For non-graduating cohorts, centre-based classes will be conducted online

  • School-based activities and after-school care arrangements to continue
    MOE says this will be subjected to the tightened safe management measures.

  • Fixed exam-style seating to also continue
    With this seating arrangement, only up to two students per group are allowed for group works.
    Fixed seating arrangements will remain during recess with 1m spacing between the students.
    Schools will be updated regarding further arrangements for national examinations which may also be affected by the tightened safety measures.

  • All IHLs to continue keeping in-person class and lecture sizes to no more than 50 persons
    IHLs will also suspend in-person CCAs and indoor mask-off activities. Meanwhile, internships and work attachments may continue as long as students adhere to the prevailing safe management measure at the organisations they are attached with.

  • Students and staff who have been placed under the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Health Risk Warning will be placed on either an Approved Absence (AA) or Leave of Absence (LOA)
    These students and staff members will then only be allowed to return to school after their exit Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab test result is negative.
    Those who have been put under Health Risk Alert (HRA) may also return but should limit their social interactions, monitor their health and seek a doctor if they feel unwell.

Additional Safety Measures For Private Education Institutions and Other Educational Entities

singapore phase 2
singapore phase 2

Image source: Facebook / Ministry of Education, Singapore

Private Education Institutions (PEIs) and Privately-Funded Schools (PFSs) will also be required to follow all prevailing national safe management measures.

PEIs and PFSs that have similar student profiles and conduct similar activities to other schools and IHLs are strongly advised by MOE to abide by tightened safety measures as well as adopted them where possible.

Safe management measures in Singapore in-person private tuition and enrichment classes under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) are of the following:

  • Mask-off activities will not be allowed
    Activities that involve students taking off their masks such as singing and the use of wind instruments are not permitted. Other mask-on activities will be allowed to continue.

  • All private tuition and enrichment classes are strongly encouraged to be conducted online
    MOE says this is to minimise the risk of students inter-mingling.

  • Telecommuting should also be the default arrangement for staff members of these centres
    Although, if there should be staff deployed on-site, these centres must ensure there is no cross-deployment of staff across worksites. This is also to avoid the risk of the infection spreading through staff inter-mingling.

  • Private tuition and enrichment centres should regularly check and adhere strictly to MOE’s requirements
    Centres may also take reference from SportSG and the National Arts Council’s latest requirements regarding sports, arts and cultural classes.

“MOE will continue to monitor the situation closely, and work with schools and IHLs to implement additional SMMs where necessary to ensure the continued well-being of students and staff,” writes the ministry.

MOE adds, “We urge all students and staff to continue practising good personal hygiene and adhere to all necessary SMMs. These include wearing masks, washing hands frequently, wiping down equipment and tables after each use, seeing a doctor immediately if they feel unwell and returning to school or campus only when fully recovered.”

Lead image source from Facebook / Ministry of Education, Singapore.

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