Some students in graduating cohorts return to school this week

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From this week, most primary and secondary schools will each see 50 to 200 graduating students returning to their classrooms.

Classes will be staggered and they will return to school on different days and times, said the Ministry of Education in response to queries.

They will be back in small groups for face-to-face lessons as circuit breaker measures slowly ease up. Attendance is not compulsory.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung had earlier said that graduating students are anxious to prepare for the national examinations after about a month of full home-based learning last month. He acknowledged that home-based learning cannot fully replace physical lessons.

Students are currently having their school holidays, which were brought forward from next month. As for when other students can return to school, the multi-ministry Covid-19 task force said it will review the matter at a later date.

Eugene Kan, a Secondary 4 student in Swiss Cottage Secondary School, will be returning to school from this week to catch up on science subjects.

"It's not the teachers' fault, but there's only so much information you can convey through the screen. And it's easier to raise your hand to ask for help in a physical classroom," said the 15-year-old.

Chung Cheng High School (Main) Sec 4 student Lee Jia Xin, 16, will not be returning to school yetbut has signed up for at least one online consultation with her teacher this week.

"Teachers gave us revision materials and holiday assignments," she said. "For subjects like biology, I felt like I didn't learn as much as I would have if I were physically in class."

It will be necessary to have more catch-up sessions in school later on, she added.