School Continuity Plan for Haze Situation

1    The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced its school continuity plan for the haze situation. Schools will take appropriate mitigation measures based on the health advisory for the day to ensure the well-being of our students and staff. The Ministry is also working closely with the Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs) on appropriate measures to be put in place.

Mitigation Measures for Primary and Secondary Schools

2    Schools will re-open on 1 July 2013 after the June school holidays. For as long as schools remain open, MOE and schools will take the following mitigation measures, which are based on the health advisory for the day:

Mitigation measures taken while in schools
  • School activities will be guided by the daily health advisory. For example, should the health advisory correspond to the ‘unhealthy’ level or above, there will be no outdoor activities.
  • To better enclose classrooms should the haze situation deteriorate, classroom windows and doors will be closed as far as possible while allowing adequate ventilation. Schools will also maximise the use of existing air-conditioned spaces for teaching and learning.
  • Schools could scale down lessons if necessary.
  • All schools have at least one air-conditioned room with an air purifier to temporarily accommodate students or staff who develop respiratory symptoms and / or are not feeling well, before they are taken to seek medical attention if necessary.
Response to transient rise in health advisory forecast to ‘hazardous’ level
  • All classroom windows and doors will be closed.
  • Schools will scale down lessons.
  • Students will be moved from classrooms to other enclosed indoor spaces, such as the library and school hall. The distribution of students across all enclosed indoor spaces will allow better thermal comfort and ventilation.
  • Students and staff who are unwell or have a medical history of chronic heart and lung disease will be taken to the air-conditioned room with an air purifier before they are taken to seek medical attention.

Closure of Primary and Secondary Schools

3    MOE will consider closing all primary and secondary schools to students when the health advisory for the next day indicates that the air quality will be at the hazardous level. School-based student care centres will not operate during periods of closure. On days when there are oral examinations for GCE ‘O’ and ‘N’ levels, candidates affected by school closure will have their oral examinations rescheduled. Should closure be prolonged, schools will activate home-based learning for their students.

4    Should the health advisory for the next day correspond to the ‘hazardous’ level, MOE will announce the closure of schools at around the same time that the health advisory is released. This will be at around 6.00 pm on the day before the schools are to be closed. Schools will also contact parents to inform them of the closure of schools for students via phone or SMS.

5    We would like to seek parents’ and employers’ understanding that relatively short notice for any announcement of school closure can be given, as the health advisory for the next day is only available in the late afternoon each day. We also wish to encourage parents to make advance care arrangements for their children if necessary for such an eventuality. Under those circumstances, we urge employers to exercise greater workplace flexibility in enabling their employees to care for their children.

Kindergartens and Child Care Centres

6    The Early Childhood Development Agency will align the closure of kindergartens and child care centres to the closure of schools.

Post-Secondary Education Institutions and Junior Colleges

7     The considerations for closure of PSEIs, namely the Autonomous Universities, Polytechnics and ITE, as well as Junior Colleges/Centralised Institute are different. This is because most of the teaching and learning takes place in enclosed indoor spaces, such as lecture theatres, and the students are older. MOE will work closely with these institutions to ensure the well-being of their students and be guided by the health advisory.

Link : MOE – School Continuity Plan for Haze Situation

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Video A.  Appropriate measures in place to protect students from haze – MOE

Video B  Ensuring well-being of students with appropriate precautions — MOE

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