SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) has insisted that, while it offers scholarships to promising young students from China, India and Southeast Asia countries, they make up only 0.9 per cent of Singapore’s secondary and pre-university students.
Of these foreign students on scholarships, only about 0.7 per cent are from India – or about 1 in 16,000 secondary and pre-university students.
MOE revealed these statistics in a Facebook post on Friday (6 December), after People’s Voice Party leader Lim Tean criticised the ministry for giving out scholarships to students from India.
In his Facebook post, the opposition politician included a link to the A*Star Youth Scholarship on the MOE website, which welcomes Indian nationals born between 2003 and 2005 to apply.
“A government that takes care of foreign children ahead of its own children is like a father that feeds other children ahead of his own. That is a bad father,” Lim wrote in his post.
In reply, MOE stated that it will look into amending the webpages, so as not to give the impression that the scholarships target only students from a particular country.
“MOE provides a wide range of scholarships and financial aid, predominantly to Singaporeans,” it said in its Facebook post.
“We also award a small number of scholarships to promising young international students from Asean countries, China and India. While here, they help promote goodwill and understanding among young people from different countries. Over time, some have become PRs and citizens, sunk roots here, and contribute to Singapore.
“MOE works with organisations, including A*Star and SIA (Singapore Airlines), to administer some of the scholarships schemes, each targeting a different country.”
The issue of Indian foreign talents in Singapore came into the spotlight after Erramalli Ramesh, a Singaporean employee from financial services company JP Morgan, was filmed verbally abusing a condominium security guard in October.
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