Singapore children prepare for third year of school amid Covid-19



SINGAPORE – Oncologist Tanujaa Rajasekaran, 37, has chosen to collect his six-year-old daughter’s books from St Margaret’s Primary School instead of opting for online delivery.

“My husband and I went to pick up his books with our two daughters so that we could mentally prepare her for the fact that the new school will not be as small as her kindergarten,” she said.

As students across the island prepare for a third year of schooling amid Covid-19, parents of children starting elementary 1 say the lack of in-person guidance has prompted them to find creative ways to help their children make the transition to a new learning environment.

Ms. Yvonne Fan, 38, involved her children every step of the way, from buying uniforms to putting their names on textbooks.

She said: “Every little moment, especially during Covid-19, needs to be celebrated. We also started sleeping earlier in the week before school to prepare for getting up early.”

The general manager of public relations firm Tate Anzur has three daughters, aged three to eight.

Another mother, Madame Nur’afifah Mohd Hussain, 29, spoke to her eldest son about his expectations for school and got him excited about the new environment by letting him choose his stationery and his box. lunch.

The independent educator and housewife said: “I read her books on safety such as body safety (protection against inappropriate contact) and road safety, among others, to rehearse what school will be like.

“Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, I can’t go to school due to the restrictions so he will just be picked up by the school bus.”

Like last year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will stagger reporting times for children so that safe management measures can be implemented effectively.

On Tuesday (January 4), only kindergarten 1 children in MOE kindergartens and primary 1 students will report to their schools. This arrangement includes the primary and junior sections of special education schools.

Kindergarten 2 children and elementary school children 2 to 6 will return to school one day later on Wednesday.

Experts stress the importance of parents in supporting their children. Mr Bryan Tan, 45, executive director of the Center for Fathering, Mums for Life and Dads for Life, said the disruption of normal school routines over the past two years has brought unprecedented stress to the children, and some might not be able to express what they are going through.

“It is therefore important that our children know that their fathers are there to support them and are there for them when they find it difficult to adapt to these changes induced by the pandemic,” he added.

This year, fathers from more than 120 preschools, primary and secondary schools as well as institutes of higher education will write notes of encouragement to facilitate the return to school of their children as part of the Back To School With Dad initiative of the center.


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