MOE To Boost Financial Support For Students In Need, Increase Meal & Transport Subsidies

MOE Increases Financial Subsidies For Students In Need Amid Rising Costs

In light of current rising costs across the board, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be providing more financial support for students in need.

Primary and secondary school students under the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) will receive more transport and meal subsidies. In addition, more bursaries will be provided for pre-university students.

The increase in subsidies will kick in from 1 Jan 2023. Posting about the policy update on Facebook, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said he hoped students will be able to reach their full potential under the schemes.

MOE to increase financial subsidies for students

On Wednesday (24 Aug), MOE published a press release announcing the increase in financial support for students in need.

Source: Chan Chun Sing on Facebook

Primary and secondary school students will receive more subsidies for transport and meal fares. More bursaries will also be available to them before they enrol in a university.

Here’s a summary of the enhancements made to the FAS scheme:

  • Monthly school bus fare for primary school students: 65% coverage (previously 60%)
  • Monthly public transport subsidy for primary school to pre-university students: S$17 (previously S$15)
  • School meal subsidies for primary school students: S$2.60/meal, for 7 meals per school week (previously S$2)
  • School meal subsidies for secondary school students: S$3.50/meal, for 10 meals per school week (previously S$2.60)
  • Pre-university bursary: S$1,200 per annum (previously S$1,200)

The scheme will also continue to cover the full cost of school and standard miscellaneous fees, in addition to textbooks and school uniforms for primary school students.

The updated measures will kick in from 1 Jan 2023 onwards, benefitting around 44,000 students.

Pricing cap for school bus fares adjusted

MOE will also be adjusting the price cap for school bus fares, enabling operators to continue providing transport services for students.

Bus operators currently set the fares for school buses via a competitive bidding process with the respective schools. The pricing cap, MOE added, has been fixed for several years.

However, recent increases in fuel and manpower costs have made it difficult for them to continue with their services at the current limits.

As such, MOE will provide some support in the form of granting a one-time increase to the pricing cap.

From 1 Jan 2023 onwards, the cap for school bus fares in existing contracts will increase by 7%. This will allow bus operators to increase their fares to the new cap if the need arises.

Such a move will make it easier for them to continue transporting students while ensuring their services remain sustainable.

Bus operators will have to inform parents or guardians of any changes in the bus fares from Sep 2022, so they can consider it while planning transport arrangements for the new year.

Students in need of financial assistance will also receive it through the enhancements in MOE FAS, and school-based FAS schemes.

MOE will continue to monitor developments and ensure the fares remain affordable for students.

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Featured image adapted from Chan Chun Sing on Facebook.

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