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Proposal for a fourth model in school setup

WHEN all schools reopen in about two weeks, their administrators can adopt one of three models of operations, “Ministry unveils three operating models for schools to choose from” (The Star, July 2).

Models 1 and 2, which entail a single and a double session respectively, should pose few problems, if any, as many schools are already either single or double session. Other schools can learn or “copy” from them.

Model 3, which involves a rotational mode, looks more complicated.

According to the Education Minister, for a secondary school that have classes from Forms One to Six, students in Forms Five and Six would attend school daily while their schoolmates would attend on a rotation system based on their class or stream.

My understanding is that these other students would have to be put into a  “maximum” of two groups (incidentally, for groups to have any meaning, there has to be a minimum of two groups). So, we have, for example, Group A consisting of all Forms One and Two and Group B consists of Forms Three and Four. These two groups will attend school on a rotation basis in the remaining classrooms and space. Group A may come to school for three days and Group B for two days only in a week. Then perhaps in the following week, Group A will attend two days and Group B three days. This way both groups have five days of school in two weeks. And, if a school day has five-and-half hours of solid lesson time (not including the half-hour recess time and assuming school opens from 7.30am till 1.30pm), then in two weeks, each group would have a total solid lesson time of twenty-seven-and half hours.

I propose for schools to have three sessions a day so that students at all levels can come in every day, with Forms Five and Six continuing as usual.

The proposed three sessions are for those in the other forms (the Groups A and B students mentioned earlier). Each session will last three-and-half hours and there need not be any recess.

The three sessions can be distributed as follows: 7.30am -11.00am; 11.20am – 2.50pm; 3.00pm-6.30pm.

Going three sessions will allow schools to have enough classrooms and space. The hours may seem odd, but I believe the logistics involved, including transport for students, catering for the canteen and workload of teachers can be sorted out equitably.

I trust the ingenuity and innovativeness of our school administrators.

Within two weeks, students in this set-up would have attended altogether 35 hours of solid lessons, which is eight hours more than what Model 3 can offer.


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