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School holidays in Singapore brought forward: 5 May 2020 to 1 June 2020

School holidays in Singapore brought forward: 5 May 2020 to 1 June 2020


In light of the extended Circuit Breaker announced on 21 April 2020 by the Multi-Ministry Taskforce, Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) will bring forward the mid-year school holidays, to commence on 5 May 2020 and end on 1 June 2020.

This comes after home-based learning was implemented nation-wide on 8 April 2020.

MOE stated: “While HBL has been going well, it has been an intense period of hard work and adjustment for parents, students and teachers. An early June holiday will give everyone a respite. It also buys us time for a less restrictive school opening in June.”

With the school holidays brought forward, lessons will resume on 2 June 2020. More details on the format of these lessons – physical classes, partial HBL or full HBL – will be released at a later date depending on the national posture at that time.

This means that Term 3 will now be longer, but we will institute a one-week mid-term break from 20 to 26 July 2020. These adjustments will apply to all MOE Kindergartens, primary, secondary and Pre-University students, including students from Special Education (SPED) schools. The revised academic calendar is as follows:

  • 5 May 2020 to 1 June 2020: School holidays
  • 2 June 2020: Start of Term 3
  • 20 July 2020 to 26 July 2020: Mid-term break
  • 6 September 2020: End of Term 3

Meanwhile, parents working in essential services like healthcare and who are also unable to secure alternative care arrangements, may continue to approach their children’s primary school, MOE Kindergarten or SPED school for assistance during the school holidays.

These support services have been ongoing throughout the HBL period, and will continue to be offered. Private education institutions should either continue with their HBL arrangements, or suspend classes otherwise.

IHLs to extend HBL

The Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) will take the following approach from 5 May 2020 to 1 June 2020:

  • Students from polytechnics will continue with full HBL
  • Students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will continue with full HBL until 8 May 2020. Thereafter, they will be on vacation from 9 May to 1 June. (The vacation is brought forward from mid-June. ITE will be providing more details separately.)
  • Students from the Singapore Institute of Technology and some students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design will be starting their school term on 18 May 2020 in full HBL
  • The other Autonomous Universities will be having their holidays. Those offering a summer term will conduct all classes online

Rescheduling of GCE-level MTL examinations

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) will reschedule the Mid-Year Mother Tongue Language (MTL) Written Examinations as follows:

Subject ExaminedOriginal DateRescheduled Date
O-Level MTL (Papers 1 and 2)1 June 2020 8 am18 June 2020 2 pm
A-Level H1 MTL (Papers 1 and 2)
O-Level MTL B (Papers 1 and 2)2 June 2020 8 am19 June 2020 2:30 pm
A-Level MTL B (Papers 1 and 2)

Taking into consideration the Term 3 mid-term break from 20 July to 26 July, the listening comprehension for O- and A-level MTL and MTL B will be rescheduled as follows:

Subject ExaminedOriginal DateRescheduled Date
O-Level MTL and MTL B Listening Comprehension21 Jul 202027 Jul 2020
A-Level MTL and MTL B Listening Comprehension22 Jul 2020

SEAB will work with schools to put in place precautionary measures to protect the safety and well-being of students and examination personnel.

Removal of Common Last Topics

The Common Last Topics (CLT) will be removed from the national examinations this year. The CLT is a set of topics from a syllabus identified by MOE that would be taught last by all schools towards the end of the academic year.

Examples of CLT to be removed include “Interactions within the Environment” for PSLE Science, Vectors for O-level Mathematics and “Introduction to the Chemistry of Transition Elements” for A-level H2 Chemistry.

The CLT provides MOE and SEAB with the flexibility of reducing the scope covered in national examinations should an unforeseen situation occur that does not allow schools to complete their teaching for the graduating cohorts. The CLT will still be taught, but not be examinable.

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