askST: How will my little one be affected by Covid-19 guidelines for PSLE?, Parenting & Schooling Information & High Tales
SINGAPORE – Confused by changing Covid-19 rules for candidates taking the primary school leaving exam (PSLE)?
Ahead of the first written PSLE paper on Thursday (September 30th), The Straits Times will answer questions about PSLE candidates affected by the Covid-19 rules based on the guidance of the Department of Education (MOE) and Department of Health (MOH) .
Q: Can my child take PSLE on Quarantine Orders (QO)?
A: Yes, if the child tests negative for the first polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) and the self-smear antigen rapid test (ART) before each examination.
Candidates must inform their school of their plans to admit PSLE to their school by noon the day they receive a quarantine order. The candidate does not have to inform the school that he or she would like to take the following work.
According to the MOH website, children ages four to twelve receive their PCR swab tests at their quarantine locations instead of a regional screening center.
The first PCR test or initial test is carried out by swab providers commissioned by MOH in the candidate’s house.
It takes at least 24 hours for this test result to be processed and updated on the HealthHub online portal.
This means that a candidate can file a PSLE paper at the earliest, usually within two days of receiving their quarantine order.
For example, if a child is notified on Wednesday that they have to comply with a quarantine order, they will miss the English PSLE newspaper on Thursday.
Regardless, ART kits will be made available by the end of the next day.
The day before each work, candidates must complete their daily ART at 6:00 p.m. or after. Parents must photograph the negative result with the child’s name and date on it.
Candidates can only take the work if the ART result is negative and the school has approved their quarantine leave.
On the day of elaboration, candidates must travel directly to the examination site by private transport or on foot without stopping.
When candidates take a taxi or private rental car, they must tell the driver that they are in quarantine but are allowed to take the exams.
Quarantined parents or carers can accompany candidates if they have also received negative PCR and ART results.
After dropping their child off at school, they must return home immediately.
The candidate must provide either a photo of the negative ART result or the ART kit in a plastic bag to the school in order to be accepted.
According to the paper, they are supposed to return home or to their state quarantine facility.
Q: If my child hasn’t received a PCR test result after 24 hours, does this mean they tested positive for the virus?
A: No, it takes at least 24 hours to process and update the PCR test results on the HealthHub online portal. One parent told ST that it took their child about three days to receive their negative PCR test result.
Q: Can a quarantined child take the remaining papers with them if they miss a PSLE paper?
A: Yes, if he tests negative on the first PCR test and wipes the ART himself off before each test.
Missed documents will be given special consideration.
This means that a candidate is awarded an anticipated grade for a work that takes into account multiple sources of data, such as the other work for that subject and the performance of the school cohort on national or school-based exams such as the preliminary exams.
Q: If a candidate’s sibling is issued a quarantine or home notice, can he or she take PSLE?
A: Yes sir. The candidate is on leave and must be tested negative in a supervised ART. The candidate must also test himself at regular intervals.
All candidates who are on leave but are not pending quarantine orders must complete an ART at their school on the day of their first job.
You are asked to report to the school one hour before the start of the exam in order to have enough time to take the ART and do the housework.
Q: If a candidate has been given an approved absence due to a mandatory MOH test or a health hazard warning, can they take PSLE?
A: Yes, if the candidate tests negative for their first PCR test and performs ARTs at regular intervals.
They must inform their school of the result before the exam until the approved absence is canceled.
The MOH website states that warnings of health risks will be issued to people who have been identified as close contacts in a confirmed Covid-19 case or who have been in close proximity to a case for an extended period of time.
After receiving a health risk alert via SMS, candidates must take a PCR test within 48 hours and regularly take ARTs according to MOH’s testing regime on its website.
Q: Can my child who is on sick leave due to an acute respiratory infection or fever take PSLE?
A: Yes, if they have recovered and tested negative for Covid-19 using a PCR test.
Candidates who are on leave due to fever will be admitted to the exam if they no longer have a fever and have received a negative ART test.
Q: Can candidates take PSLE if a household member aged six and over has flu-like symptoms?
A: Yes, if you have a negative ART result. They can self-smear using ART kits at home and inform their schools of the result before the exam.
Q: Why are QO students allowed to take leave of absence to take PSLE? Isn’t that a public health risk?
A: The MOE website states that MOH has assessed the risks as low and acceptable, taking into account the safeguards from a strict testing regime, safe management measures and other precautions required by the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board for the safe conduct of the national exams.