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Report on funding cuts for independent schools "inaccurate": MOE

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has said that a media report on funding being cut for top independent schools in Singapore is "inaccurate".

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) has said that a media report on funding being cut for top independent schools in Singapore is "inaccurate".

Responding to queries, MOE has clarified that six schools received additional funding while four schools had their funding trimmed following its review of funding for the independent schools.

Three of the schools saw an increase in funding of about 5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013.

Another three schools will get between 1 and 3 per cent more, while the remaining four schools will see a reduction of no more than 3 per cent in funding.

MOE said it regularly reviews the funding of schools to ensure that they are adequately funded and that the resources are well spent.

It said one of the major changes in this round of review focused on the baseline funding formula.

Previously, every independent school was given the same amount of grant per student.

MOE explained that this resulted in schools with large enrolment receiving disproportionately high funding relative to schools with lower enrolment.

The new funding formula, which has both a fixed and variable component, seeks to provide more equitable funding to the schools.

MOE said in recent years, it had received feedback on the burden of fundraising placed on parents, students and other stakeholders.

It stressed that it is in this context that it has advised schools to moderate their fundraising activities and to take into consideration the cost of operating any additional facilities.

MOE said it will continue to approve fundraising requests by schools based on the educational merits of each request, adding that this applies to all schools, including independent schools.

The ministry said schools are encouraged to invest their resources efficiently in achieving maximal outcomes.

In this context, MOE has advised independent schools on the judicious use of air-conditioning.

This is in line with the ministry’s goal to be ecologically sustainable and cost-effective in operating the schools.

It added that school classrooms should be naturally ventilated.

For classrooms that have been air-conditioned, MOE has advised schools where practicable to retrofit the classrooms with fans so that the classrooms have the option of being naturally ventilated.  

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