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Budget 2020: Boost in bursaries, other financial assistance for students

The annual bursary for pre-university students will be raised from S$900 to S$1,000 each.

STUDENTS from lower-income families will receive further financial help form the government, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his Budget speech on Tuesday.

The annual bursary for pre-university students will be raised from S$900 to S$1,000 each, under the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) financial assistance scheme, Mr Heng announced.

Primary to pre-university students will receive greater transport subsidies, and secondary school students will get increased subsidiaries for school meals.

The enhanced MOE financial assistance scheme will cost an additional S$9 million per year, bringing the total spend to S$52 million per year.

There will also be higher bursaries starting from Academic Year 2020 for students coming from lower- and middle-income families who are enrolled at the polytechnics and autonomous universities.

Full-time students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will likewise get enhanced bursaries. Students from households who qualify under the lowest income tier for the bursaries will now receive a 100 per cent fee subsidy on top of the cash bursary, Mr Heng said. ITE students from low and middle-income households will also get an increase of up to S$200 per year in the cash bursary quantum.

These enhancements will push the cost of bursaries for higher education from S$148 million per year to S$198 million per year, Mr Heng said.

In total, a Singaporean child can expect to receive more than S$180,000 of education subsidies by the time he turns 16. This includes about S$50,000 in government subsidies over five years when they are enrolled in a full-day childcare programme with one of the anchor operators.

For those from less-privileged backgrounds, there will be additional subsidies for pre-school, as well as bursaries and other financial assistance schemes.

“This substantial investment is how we maximise every child’s potential, regardless of family circumstances,” Mr Heng said.

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