Upper Primary, Secondary & JC Level – Bukit Panjang

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Sept Covid Quick Update: Preparing for End-of-Year (EOY) Examinations 2021

Dear parents and students,

It has been a challenging year dealing with the pandemic and the current endemic. The year is drawing to a close and many of you may be anxious about the upcoming End-of-Year (EOY) examinations. You may already be aware that students who are tested Covid19 positive WILL NOT be allowed to sit for the national exams1. Obviously, this would add anxiety to parents/students as a full year’s worth of effort may just go down the drain if a student is tested positive. Therefore, I highly recommend that the family take extra precautions and continue to be vigilant during this important phase.

As our country is monitoring the current situation as we prepare to live with the virus, it is only natural that there would be constant changes to the policies. Such changes may cause confusion and some, perhaps due to fatigue, may simply choose to abandon them (or simply comply in a careless manner). While there is little we can do about the policies except to comply, we can, however, choose how we go about our daily lives.

The best way to deal with the current situation is to avoid getting infected in the first place. To be perfectly honest, due to the rising numbers in recent times, I’m concerned that this may prove to be challenging. It would be horrible if students cannot take exams if they are infected at the wrong time. As of writing, new measures are in place and from 15 Sept onwards, home recovery is allowed when certain criteria are met. That means family members are automatically placed on quarantine orders, which may cause further disruptions.

We can minimize the chances of such unwanted disruptions by taking the necessary precautions seriously. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Wear quality masks! This is my number 1 advice. Working with children, I sometimes observe that they get bothered by the masks and choose to wear them casually – i.e. not covering the mouth, wear them under the chin, etc. Be reminded that the Science and research still stands – N95 masks have proven to be the most effective2. If you consider them to be overkill, at least choose masks that are able to filter droplets effectively. Medical (aka surgical) masks are effective. However, do avoid buying masks from unknown sources as they may be of low quality and not meet medical standards.

    Only reuse masks if they are designed to be reused. You may choose masks that allow you to change filters so that you don’t have to rely on disposable masks. When using disposable masks, make sure you change them daily as it may have been contaminated. When handling the masks, avoid touching the masks with your hands to avoid unintentional contamination. Homemade cloth masks without any form of vapor protection or filtering has been proven to be the least effective.

  2. Hand soap still works! By now it should be common knowledge that the 20-seconds hand-wash is still effectively in removing viruses and bacteria. We can de-contaminate our hands (and masks if they are washable) with soap when we come back home each day.

  3. Avoid crowded areas. I know it’s just tempting to go out and have fun with family and friends since we are not in lock-down. However, if you are a student with National Exams coming up, it would be wise to avoid crowded areas during this period. In any case, you should be at home doing your revision! If you really wish to go out, pick to go during off-peak times when shopping malls or parks are not as crowded.

  4. Staying healthy is the best form of defense! Even though the exams are near, there is no good reason to stress yourself out too much and compromise your immune systems. Doing so is tantamount to giving an open invitation to viruses to invade your body. Simply stick to the basics! – Drink plenty of water, get enough rest, eat nutritious food and exercise regularly.

I believe the above are simple measures that anyone can follow. It may be inconvenient and may even cause a little bit of discomfort but I think heeding such small but effective steps are a small price to pay compared to getting infected.

Finally, good luck to all who are taking the EOY!!


Mr. Chow

  1. MOE: Arrangements for 2021 National Exams 

  2. Mask research effectiveness