SINGAPORE – With Singapore’s return on heightened alert Thursday, July 22, some course centers have again focused on offering virtual courses, citing security reasons, although face-to-face classes may continue with classes up to ‘to 50.
Knowledge Trail Learning Center director Darrin Tan said classes move online for the safety of their students and staff.
“Students do not need to travel to attend our classes and this will also help reduce the risk of community transmission as well as minimize the risk of student mix,” he told The Straits Times.
Integral Learning Academy co-founder Alex Lim, 34, said he was concerned about the growing number of primary school students testing positive for Covid-19.
He decided to take a hybrid approach of virtual and physical classes until August 18.
But others have said that in-person classes have real benefits that online alternatives can’t match, and a hybrid of the two is suitable for different learning styles.
Isaac Lim, 40, managing director of Indigo Education Group, said: “While some students have handled online classes well, others prefer face-to-face classes because they experience ‘zoom fatigue’ and have to. hard to concentrate. With the end of the year school and national exams looming, it is crucial that we provide a range of options to relieve our students’ anxiety and prepare them well. “
The internet connection presents challenges, such as weak internet connections and the student’s camera and audio instruments malfunction.
Mr. Lim of the Integral Learning Academy noted that elementary learners seem particularly less engaged online.
The demand for schooling centers has not diminished, especially for children taking national exams.
This high demand has helped cover the financial costs presented by the pandemic to the education centers.
Ms Theresa Ho, deputy managing director of Learning Point, said the centre’s costs increased by more than 20% during Covid-19, after installing air ionizers in classrooms and using more digital tools for online learning.
Parents at the Straits Times have welcomed having in-person classes for their children, but also agree that hybrid learning models are needed during Covid-19.
Accountant Surbhi Palta, 39, said her eight-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter were easily distracted during their virtual lessons. She said: “I have found my children easily lost their concentration and I have often found them checking their cell phones.”
Tech support manager Irene Tan, 43, added that some school lessons may be missed, cut back or rushed during the pandemic.
She said: “My children don’t like private lessons because they feel pressured to leave the tutor’s full attention on them for one to two hours.
“The tuition centers also have advantages like learning with peers and picking up good ideas from them.”