$155 Million Injection Into Edusave
Extra funds to ensure ‘schools have resources when inflation goes up’: Dr Ng
by Teo Xuanwei
SINGAPORE – As the rising cost of living shows few signs of abating, the Government has moved to insulate children from its impact – in the form of a one-off $155 million topping-up to the Edusave scheme.
All Singaporean Primary and Secondary students, including those in special education schools, will receive $130 more in their Edusave accounts this year, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen announced yesterday during a dialogue session with Bukit Timah residents.
This $54.8 million injection – the biggest since 2005, when the Government gave out $100 more to each student – will bump up students’ Edusave accounts this year to $330 and $370 at the primary and secondary levels respectively.
The money in Edusave accounts can be used to fund school enrichment programmes. It could also be used to enable students to go on local and overseas learning trips.
The remaining $100 million will go to all Government, Government-aided and Independent schools to spend on IT equipment, so that schools “can use the gadgets to improve the education”, said Dr Ng, who was on a ministerial visit to the Bukit Timah Division in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. Speaking to reporters afterwards,
Dr Ng added: “We are doing this because … we recognise that inflation this year will go up. We want to make sure that the schools have the resources, when inflation goes up, to be able to ensure that education isn’t compromised when things are a little bit more expensive.”
Inflation in Singapore hit 3.8 per cent last November compared to a year earlier, the largest jump since January 2009. It is forecasted to reach 4 per cent before easing to 2 per cent in the second half.
Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students from lower-income families will also be given a helping hand, Dr Ng said.
The Education Ministry will increase the Community Development Council/Citizens’ Consultative Committee bursary by 25 per cent.
Recipients in households who have per capita incomes of $300 or less a month, will get $1,000 per year, compared to $800 previously.
Those with a per capita income of between $301 and $500, will get $750 a year, compared to the current $600.
During the dialogue session, Dr Ng said he had two worries this year: Inflation and its impact on education.
While he noted that prices will go up this year, Dr Ng had this reassuring message: “In Singapore, nobody who has the ability, whether it’s ITE, polytechnic or university, will be denied their education because their family cannot afford it. That is a guarantee.”
Dr Ng also made a rallying call for Singaporeans to put their faith in the Government. It has ensured the country continues to thrive in a decade which saw many difficulties, such as terrorism, biological threats and the financial meltdown, Dr Ng noted.
Said Dr Ng: “You trust us for another 10 years, we will make the difference for you.”
Source : TODAYonline – MediaCorp Press Ltd’s copyright
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