More students will benefit from subsidised tuition by the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) from next year.
Currently, CDAC accepts those from households with a monthly income of $3,300 or less, or where earnings are $900 or below per person, for its tuition programmes.
But next year, households which bring in up to $4,000 per month, or have a per capita income of up to $1,000, can qualify. About 500 more students are expected to benefit, CDAC said.
CDAC, a self-help group for those in the Chinese community, offers subsidised tuition to about 3,600 students to help underachievers from poorer families improve their school results.
The revision was done after feedback from educators, schools, students and parents.
"We saw a need among this group of people," said CDAC student education and development committee chair Low Yen Ling, who is also Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. "We want to put out more stepping stones; every child matters to us."
Those from homes with a monthly household income of $3,300 or less, or $900 or below per person, pay $8 for primary school tuition and $12 for secondary classes monthly for each subject. Those who qualify under the revised benchmarks will pay $30 for primary school tuition, $35 for Secondary 1 and 2 classes, and $40 for Secondary 3 to 5 lessons.
Children from poorer families will be given priority for tuition places, Ms Low said. The council will also give out $1.56 million in bursaries to 4,200 students next year, a 30 per cent increase in the number of recipients compared with this year.
At a bursary presentation at CDAC's premises in Tanjong Katong yesterday, single parent Vivian Kok, 41, hugged Ms Low, and was shedding tears of joy after her six-year-old son received a $280 bursary.
Her two older sons who are in secondary school may also get bursaries worth $450, said Ms Kok, who credits the childcare courses she attended at CDAC for her current job as a childcare teacher.
"The assistance is really a life-saver for me," she said in Mandarin.
This article was first published on Nov 02, 2014.
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