03 September 2021
There has been much debate over whether we should allow Singapore’s public schools to start the school day later.
In Singapore, many secondary schools start at 7.30am, which often does not allow for adequate sleep.
Healthy school start times are a long-term investment for the common good. Wealthy parents may be inconvenienced by an early start time, but they have the option of taking their child to school by car.
Economically disadvantaged parents in Singapore are more likely to send their child to school by public transport, or rely on school bus operators who dictate pickup times. Consequently, many teenagers from such homes do not have adequate time for sleep or breakfast.
Efforts to help students go to bed earlier are important, but they have proven far less effective in improving sleep duration compared with delaying school start times.