Singapore Makes Masks Optional For Students, Parents Have Mixed Reactions In Lieu Of Exam Period

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Source: Malay Mail

With the pandemic nearing its end, some of us might be questioning the validity of wearing masks 24/7 because, let’s be honest here – if it’s not mandatory, you’d only wear a mask when you’re in a crowded space or when the authorities are nearby.

In Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Sunday that masks are now only mandatory on public transportation and in healthcare settings such as clinics, hospitals and nursing homes.

However for schools, masks are now optional.

“Children need to be able to see the facial expressions of their teachers and of each other. You have to learn how to read faces, ‘Is he angry?’, ‘Is he happy?’. This is crucial for their learning and development.”

Source: TST

According to Malay Mail, most parents and teachers were happy to accept the new ruling, agreeing with the Prime Minister that masks interfere with the students’ learning experience, especially when it comes to their social development skills.

But others were unhappy because there are concerns about students getting sick during their examination period from the optional masking-up rule.

“I think there is no need to worry, we have assessed it and we think it’s safe,” said PM Lee when he made the announcement during Singapore’s national day celebration on 21 August. He also noted that there have only been 1,600 Covid related deaths in Singapore.

Source: CNA

Some concerned parents expressed their worries and mixed reactions, Jackie Yeo asked her 15-year-old son to only mask up nearing the exam period.

She noticed that her son gets home from school drenched in sweat and glasses fogging up from wearing a mask all day, and that he feels uncomfortable. “So it’s good they will be allowing (students) to take off their masks.”

50-year-old father of two, Edwin Lee, added that his kids wont have so much mask acne either.

One secondary school teacher said she was glad that there would be a choice to not wear masks in school soon, although she is worried about the timing of the new ruling’s implementation.

“I am concerned that there might be a higher chance of the students getting Covid-19.

“The exams are just right around the corner and it might affect their grades (should they fall sick) and whether they can advance to the next level.”

Source: Malay Mail

However, a primary school teacher said that removing masks would help students project their voice in class when answering questions, improving class participation. “We can also see their faces, recognise them easily and connect with them better,” she added.

Should the health of students be prioritised, or should more long term effects like learning development be the bigger issue? Let us know in the comments.

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