Budget 2020: More support for needy students and pre-schools

A primary school class. (AP file photo)
A primary school class. (AP file photo)

SINGAPORE — The Government will provide more financial help for students from lower-income families and increase the share of government-supported pre-school places to 80 per cent by around 2025, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (18 February).

In his Budget speech, Heng said the Government will increase its monetary support for pre-schools to over $2 billion a year within the next few years, up from $1 billion in 2018.

Currently, just over 50 per cent of pre-school places receive government support.

Meanwhile, the annual bursary quantum for pre-university students under the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme for students from lower-income families will be raised from $900 to $1,000.

Transport subsidies for all students, and school meal subsidies for secondary school students will also be increased.

The enhancements will cost the Financial Assistance Scheme an extra $9 million a year, and come up to $52 million annually.

Starting from the 2020 academic year, students in institutes of technical education (ITEs), polytechnics and autonomous universities can also get higher bursaries.

Full-time ITE students who qualify under the lowest income tier for bursaries can get a full fee subsidy on top of the cash bursary. The cash bursary quantum will also be raised by up to $200 a year.

The cost of bursaries for higher education will rise from $148 million to $198 million annually.

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