Monday, 6 June 2016

School meal subsidies extended to needy secondary school students from 27 June 2016

All secondary school, and special education students on assistance schemes will benefit
By Priscilla Goy, The Sunday Times, 5 Jun 2016

Subsidies under the Ministry of Education's (MOE) School Meals Programme will be extended to benefit older children when the second school semester starts.

Currently, only primary school pupils on MOE's Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) and special education (SPED) pupils aged seven to 12 on the SPED FAS benefit from the programme.

From June 27, subsidies will be extended to all secondary school and special education students on these two schemes.

Some 25,000 to 27,000 more students will benefit, said Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng.

He said yesterday that the programme is being extended so that there will be a "more inclusive education system, where all can benefit from the opportunities provided, regardless of background".

"We hope that with the School Meals Programme, students can learn better with a full stomach," he added. "Their concentration and ability to focus will be enhanced, and their learning journey would be better."

Under the School Meals Programme, primary school pupils receive subsidies of $2 a meal for seven meals per school week. Secondary school students will receive subsidies of $2.50 a meal.

Special education students will receive the same amount as those in mainstream schools.

Mr Ng was speaking on the sidelines of a family day carnival, held at Xingnan Primary School, for six student-care centres run by a joint venture company owned by four self-help groups: the Chinese Development Assistance Council, Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore Indian Development Association, and Eurasian Association.

The new branding for the groups' centres, Big Heart Student Care, was also unveiled yesterday. This will be the brand for all 30 centres that the company aims to run by 2020.

Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling, who is also the company's chairman, said: "This student-care service welcomes students of all backgrounds, and aims to inspire these young minds to realise their strengths and contribute back to society."

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