SINGAPORE: Primary and Secondary school students on the Ministry of Education's (MOE) financial assistance scheme will now receive meal subsidies regardless of whether they return to school during the full home-based learning period.
The provision will cover the four weeks of home-based learning from Apr 8 to May 4, and can be used to purchase food and essential groceries at places including some hawker centres, food courts and supermarkets, said MOE on Monday (Apr 13).
This is expected to benefit around 45,000 students and complements other support extended to them and their families during this circuit breaker period, said MOE.
READ: About 3,300 devices loaned out to students following announcement of full home-based learning: Ong Ye Kung
The school meals programme was originally set up in 2006 to provide subsidies for meals purchased from the canteen and consumed in school.
During the home-based learning period, primary and secondary school students on the financial assistance scheme who returned to school would have been able to benefit from the programme.
With the extension of the meal subsidies, however, eligible students who do not return to school during this period will be able to receive them.
READ: COVID-19: Singapore makes 'decisive move' to close most workplaces and impose full home-based learning for schools, says PM Lee
The subsidy is similar to the amount the students would have received if there were lessons going on as usual in school, said MOE.
Primary school students on the financial assistance scheme will receive S$80 each, inclusive of an additional S$20 support from the Sayang Sayang Fund.
The Sayang Sayang Fund provides support for the vulnerable communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secondary school students on the financial assistance scheme will receive S$120 each.
The school meal subsidies will be disbursed via two top-ups to eligible students’ School Smartcard, and can be redeemed at any TransitLink Add Value Machine once every two weeks starting from Tuesday.
The School Smartcard can be used to purchase food and essential groceries at some hawker centres, food courts, minimarts, convenience stores and supermarkets.
The extension of the meal subsidies amounts to about S$4.5 million, of which about S$500,000 is provided by the Sayang Sayang Fund.