967 Singaporean Students & Staff Given Compulsory Leave Of Absence After Coming Back From China

On Monday (27 Jan), the Ministry Of Education (MOE) announced that students and staff that visited China in the previous 14 days would be given a compulsory leave of absence.

This is one of the measures the Singapore government implemented to guard students and staff against the spreading Wuhan virus.

As of Friday (31 Jan), 967 students and staff are affected and are on a 2-week leave from school.

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Additionally, the ministry is also introducing health guidelines for schools to follow, such as stepping up cleaning in toilets and temperature-taking exercises.

Applies to all Singapore schools

The policy extends across all schools in Singapore, from kindergartens to junior colleges, polytechnics, and ITEs.

Apart from students and teachers, all non-teaching staff such as canteen vendors, security guards, and administrative staff will need to take the compulsory leave if they visited any city in China.

The 2 out of 967 that visited Hubei province might have stricter quarantine orders.

E-learning for students on MOE leave of absence

If not well-planned, a 2-week long break away from school might be detrimental for the student.

Hence, the 852 students affected by this policy will go through a home-based learning program.

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Portals such as the Student Learning Space (SLS) aid in this tried-and-tested method, designed for unexpected emergencies.

Teachers are also able to assign homework to these students.

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We are hence reassured that there is an adequate substitution for classes in school.

Keeping school safe with more measures

It is important for schools to promote a clean environment to gear up against the transmittable virus.

Therefore, apart from a more frequent and thorough cleaning of restrooms, temperature-taking exercises have also commenced.

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MOE encourages society to be resilient

The goal is to allow the normal curriculum to go on while providing sufficient protection for all students and staff.

Hence, schools are not closing now, neither are they avoiding mass assemblies at this stage.

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This is to make sure we don’t let fear of the virus disrupt daily life, allowing us to remain resilient as a community.

Hence, if you are a student or a parent, do be transparent with your travel history, to ensure public health is safeguarded in Singapore schools.

Featured image adapted from The Straits Times.