How has COVID-19 affected schools?

Written By Justin Ng

Many sectors, including education, have been disrupted by COVID-19. Learn more about the difficulties that students face in a post-pandemic world.

Where it all began: School closure

    Ever since the start of the global pandemic, many schools have closed their gates. Both students and teachers were required to remain at their homes. It was an unprecedented crisis that many were not prepared for.


    As the Singapore health authorities declared the introduction of ‘circuit breaker’ measures, schools in Singapore were closed for a month from 8 April 2020 to 5 May 2020.


A new norm: Home-based learning

    In response to the sudden closure of schools, the Education Ministry issued out nearly 12,500 digital devices on loan for students to continue learning from the safety of their homes.


    At the early stages, some parents and children expressed their concerns over the feasibility and efficacy of the newfound approach. Admittedly, it was difficult for children to get accustomed to the notion of studying remotely from home.


    Some were not familiar with the technicalities of navigating the online platforms used. Others struggled to stay focused as the prolonged use of digital devices had induced eye fatigue.


    Professor Lim Sun Sun of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) identified four key factors that influenced the learning experience of students - “space, devices, access and skills”.


“Annoyances such as repeatedly disconnecting Wi-Fi signals and getting ‘kicked out of classrooms’ can be distressing for students. Such problems will also demand that parents are nearby and nimble with their technical support.”
- Professor Lim Sun Sun, Singapore University of Technology and Design]

    Along a similar vein, there were unforeseen incidents of Zoom hijacking (also known as ‘Zoom-bombing’) that affected the safety and practicality of conducting lessons via teleconference means.


Does online learning really work?

    Although skeptics have expressed doubts on the suitability of home-based learning in Singapore, authorities have considered the fine balance between keeping students and teachers safe from COVID-19 and making learning manageable.



    In Hong Kong, students have adapted to online lessons even though their schools had remained since 3 February 2020. According to the Hong Kong University Graduate Association (HKUGA) College principal Corina Chen Hing, most students had attended online lessons in spite of the changes made.


    Every online class lasts no more than an hour, in which teachers and students interact remotely through their webcams. During physical education lessons, pupils don their exercise attires and follow instructions to complete workouts in front of their devices.


How does MobileLearners support your child?

    In view of these rapid disruptions, it is important for your child to be familiar with online learning. Our Primary Online Tuition programmes offer key features to make sure that knowledge enrichment and skills development are achieved.


    Notably, we have the ML Live! that works as a virtual classroom. Based on our updated schedule, your child can attend the short lessons to find out how to answer difficult English, Math or Science questions.


    To assess your child’s capability, we have Self-Study Online Practices that cover a wide range of questions based on what he or she has learnt at school. These multiple choice questions are auto-marked by our system to provide feedback.