More primary schools could start classes later

Posted by GotClass on February 28, 2018

More primary schools could start classes later

Primary 1 enrollment nationwide has been on the decline since 2000, when it peaked at over 50,000. This year, it fell to a record low of 37,500, statistics from the Ministry of Education (MOE) showed. TODAY file photo
Primary 1 enrollment nationwide has been on the decline since 2000, when it peaked at over 50,000. This year, it fell to a record low of 37,500, statistics from the Ministry of Education (MOE) showed. TODAY file photo

I am a father of four children and my eldest child just entered primary school. It set me thinking about why primary school children have to start school at 7.25am? Isn’t it a bit too early?

In the past, schools had two sessions a day, so there was a need for the morning session to be early to fit the afternoon session.

It is part of the Ministry of Education’s goal now for all primary schools to move from a double to single-session model. Nanyang Girls’ High School has already taken the initiative to start 45 minutes later, for instance. Shouldn’t other schools follow suit?

As is usually the case now, children and parents have to wake up as early as 5am if the students take a school bus or public transportation. For the transport operators, they could begin their day just as early, and for the educators, they start work at 6.30am to 7am.

Even after the parents drop off their children in school at 7.30am, the working adults are left hanging with time to fill before their office hours begin at 9am.

Perhaps schools should start an hour later at 8.30am. Children would be able to sleep in a bit more to be more energetic and attentive in school.

School may end an hour later at 2.45pm, which allows the students to have an unhurried lunch in the canteen and then devote more time to their after-class activities in school, eventually ending their day at the same time as their parents, who can then pick them up.

I hope that the ministry can push for later starting hours in schools to make life easier for parents, children and teachers, and improve their productivity when they do not have to sacrifice their sleeping hours.

Source: https://www.todayonline.com/voices/more-primary-schools-could-start-classes-later