Monday 16 September 2013

PCF committed to serve all Singaporeans: PM Lee

By Saifulbahri Ismail, Channel NewsAsia, 15 Sep 2013

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) remains committed to serve all Singaporeans especially the less fortunate.

Speaking at the Foundation's Family Day on Sunday morning, Mr Lee said PCF will work closely with the government to raise the quality of kindergarten education while keeping costs affordable.

PCF currently has 353 centres with pre-school education being its main programme.

Mr Lee noted PCF has served many Singaporean families. It provides community support and makes pre-school education accessible to the poor.

He said: "We believe that no one should miss out on life's opportunities because of his or her family background. We see education as the way to give every Singaporean child a good start in life.

"We've worked hard in the PCF to fulfil our mission as a quality pre-school operator. We've run kindergartens as non-profit centres to keep costs down and education affordable to all."

PCF, Singapore's largest pre-school operator, is being revamped to bring all its 353 kindergartens under a centralised system to address the problem of uneven standards.

Mr Lawrence Wong, chairman of PCF executive committee, said: "I think (this) makes it easier for us to attract pre-school teachers, as well as retain pre-school teachers, and we are already seeing the benefits of this. Ultimately the main beneficiaries will be our children. They can continue to be assured of high-quality and still affordable education in PCF."

Prime Minister Lee said that beyond the kindergarten sector, PCF will help polytechnic students earn their diplomas.

At the event, Mr Lee presented S$98,000 in study awards to 49 polytechnic students.

Besides study awards, Mr Lee said PCF will continue to raise funds for other worthy causes.

This year, a group of PAP MPs raised S$610,000 for 30 charities, voluntary welfare organisations and needy families.

Mr Lee encouraged students and beneficiaries to take advantage of PCF programmes.

He also urged those who have succeeded to give back to society.

Mr Lee said this is how the country builds a strong and gracious Singapore family.

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