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Students under financial assistance scheme to get higher subsidies from next year

About 44,000 needy students will benefit from the enhanced financial support amid rising costs, said the Ministry of Education.

SINGAPORE: Primary and secondary school students under the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) will get higher transport and meal subsidies from next year amid rising costs.

Bursaries for pre-university students will also be enhanced, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a news release on Wednesday (Aug 24).

About 44,000 students will benefit from the move, which kicks in on Jan 1, 2023. 

The financial assistance scheme helps to defray the cost of basic schooling expenses for students from lower income households.

From January, the monthly school bus subsidy for primary school students will be increased to 65 per cent of the bus fare, up from the current 60 per cent.  

The public transport subsidy for primary to pre-university students will increase from S$15 to S$17 a month.  

For school meal subsidies in primary schools, the provision will be increased from S$2 to S$2.60 per school meal for seven meals a week. For secondary schools students, it will go up from S$2.90 to S$3.50, for 10 meals per school week.

Bursaries for pre-university students will also rise from the current S$1,000 per year to S$1,200.


The pricing cap for school bus fares under existing school bus contracts between schools and bus operators will be allowed to rise by 7 per cent, in a one-time increase.

School bus fares are set by operators through a bidding process with the schools and come with a pricing cap that is fixed for a number of years.

But MOE said that the rise in fuel and manpower costs has made it more challenging for operators to sustain their business at pricing caps that had been fixed before fuel prices went up.

"This will let bus operators exercise the flexibility to raise their fares up to the revised cap, if necessary, to continue providing transport services to students, while keeping their operations sustainable," said MOE.

Students who require financial assistance will receive more support through the enhancements to the FAS, and additional help through school-based FAS if needed, said MOE. 

It added that it will continue to monitor developments and work closely with school bus operators to ensure that fares are kept affordable for students.

Source: CNA/rc(gr)


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