Students to receive free sanitiser, reusable face shields from Temasek Foundation

PHOTO: Facebook/desmondtslee

All pre-school and primary school students going back to school after the circuit breaker ends on June 2 will receive a face shield in place of face masks, Temasek Foundation announced Monday (May 25).

In addition, all students from preschool level right up to special education and Junior Colleges will be given two bottles of hand sanitiser each, made from a solution of 40 per cent isopropyl alcohol and 0.1 per cent benzalkonium chloride.

The bottles will come in two sizes, one 50ml pocket-size portable bottle of sanitiser that can be refilled, and a larger 500ml bottle. 

Face shields for students going back to school after circuit breaker ends

Temasek Foundation is partnering with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) in carrying out this project. 

The agencies involved are working towards releasing these items to all schools by June 8.

However, delays may occur and the foundation advises parents to encourage preschoolers and primary school children to wear face masks that they already own until they receive the shields. 

“Given the logistics involved, some students may not receive the items on the first day they return to school.” 

“Should this be the case, we encourage parents to ensure their pre-school and primary school children use their own masks or face shields in school in the interim,” the foundation said.

Further, all pre-school teachers and staff will also be given face shields, with some already having received them and others set to receive them in the weeks to come, due to the nature of their job entailing them to maintain closer contact with children if the need arises. 

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Jamie Ang, ECDA chief executive, noted that the face shields and sanitiser were of importance to ensure safe management practices.

“These contributions will help our community stay COVID-safe together, as we prepare to resume services in phases from June 2,” Ang noted. 

Meanwhile, all students, service contractors and staff at the Institute of Technical Education, will each receive two MaskSafe DET30 reusable masks, and two bottles of sanitiser each.

Commenting on the initiative, Koh Lin-Net, chief executive of Temasek Foundation Nurtures, noted that the efforts were part of the foundation’s Stay Prepared initiative to support Singapore during the reign of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We would like to do our part and help our children and teachers to stay safe by equipping them with a face shield or mask and also hand sanitiser that will come in handy when they have no immediate access to soap and water,” she said.

Over 650,000 students and 42,000 teachers and contract staff are expected to benefit from this initiative set to safeguard students and staff as they return back to school after lockdown eases. 

Minister Lee urges kids to stay safe

In a Facebook post on Monday, Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, commented on the importance of “COVID-Safe Behaviours” of wearing of masks or face shields in preschools, noting that parents were to encourage children aged 2 and older to wear either a mask or face shield to help protect them against droplet transmission. 

“Some parents have told us they are worried their child won’t be able to get used to wearing a mask in class. Indeed, mask-wearing takes time to get used to.

"But we are encouraged that many children tapping on the limited services at preschools during the circuit breaker have been wearing masks and observing safe distancing.

"Preschool teachers have also shared that the children adapted well to wearing masks after their teachers taught them why this is necessary and how to wear masks safely,” he noted. 

Minister Lee further thanked Temasek Foundation for the donation of face shields and assured that most children will receive one when they return back to school. 

Aside from acknowledging that some children with special needs or who are very young may have issues with keeping a mask on, and urging preschools to “exercise some flexibility in getting children to put on their masks or shields,” he also called for parents and staff to ensure that children stay safe as they prepare to return to school. 

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.