Students to get more help from ST fund

Students to get more help from ST fund

Students from low-income families will get more help with school-related expenses. From January next year, those from primary and secondary schools will get $60 and $95 a month respectively from The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) - $5 more than before.

The SPMF, which helps needy students with school-related expenses, expects to disburse over $7 million next year - $1 million more than this year with this revision. Last year, the fund supported 11,372 cases and disbursed over $4.9 million.

Students from the Institute of Technical Education, junior colleges and polytechnics will continue to get $120 a month.

The move was announced at the SPMF's annual appreciation and sharing day on Tuesday.

SPMF chairman Han Fook Kwang, who is also the managing editor of Singapore Press Holdings' English and Malay Newspapers Division, said: "We recognise that costs have increased in recent years and the poorer families have a much harder time coping with these increases."

He said research showed that students performed better in school after going on the scheme.

"Many of them responded by saying that it's because they did not need to worry any more about having enough money to go through the day," he said. "Ultimately, that's what the SPMF is - it's about reducing money worries so that these students can better focus and do better in school."

Ms Tina Hung, deputy chief executive of the National Council of Social Service, a strategic partner of the SPMF, added: "Every other year, we are making decisions and making announcements about the improvements both in the criteria as well as in the household income and the amount because we understand that... things are changing all the time."

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