In reference to the opinion letter by Concerned Parents on ‘Lockers, changing rooms at public primary schools’ published in the Weekend Bulletin on October 17, the Ministry of Education would like to acknowledge the limited window of the time between the end of daily morning classes and the commencement of religious classes in the afternoon.
While there is understandably a need to ensure the smooth transition for students between the two sessions, their safety and well-being remain the main priority of the ministry, which need to be taken into account before providing facilities such as lockers and changing rooms in primary schools.
Generally, primary school students enrol into religious schools when they reach Year 2. These are mostly seven- and eight-year-olds, who need monitoring and supervision by adequate school staff. While there are primary schools that are already equipped with changing rooms and ablution areas, due to sharing the same building with religious schools in the afternoon, there are those that still face logistical challenges, which are currently being looked into.
Further discussions will need to be carried out between the Ministry of Education’s Department of Schools, the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ Department of Islamic Studies and parent-teacher associations to find the best of solutions to address this thoughtful concern by the writer.
The Ministry of Education appreciates the writer’s feedback and welcomes the public to approach the Department of Schools through the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Education for assistance or clarification.
Public Relations Unit, The Ministry of Education