Schools hit by budget cuts look to save on costs

Schools hit by budget cuts look to save on costs
The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) campus in Dover Road, which features an Olympic-size swimming pool.

SINGAPORE - Two top independent schools which have had their government funding lowered say the cut was "substantial" and they have to relook programmes and staffing to see where they can save on costs.

This could mean cutting back on overseas trips at Raffles Institution (RI) and Hwa Chong Institution (HCI), and reviewing the need for additional staff.

The schools could even turn to alumni for help in running enrichment programmes.

"It is an opportunity for us to relook everything," said Mr Chan Poh Meng, who took over as headmaster of RI last December.

The Straits Times reported on Monday that six independent schools have had their funding cut. This was on the basis that they used to receive funding on both their Integrated Programme (IP) and Gifted Education Programme, but now have had the IP portion of their funding cut.

All schools, including independent and mission schools, were also told to moderate the raising of funds for campus upgrading.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said that it regularly reviews the funding of schools to ensure that they are adequately funded and that the resources are well spent.

It also revealed for the first time another major change in the funding formula for independent schools.

"Previously, every independent school was given the same amount of grant per student. It resulted in schools with large enrolments receiving disproportionately high funding relative to schools with lower enrolments," it said.

"The new funding formula, which has both a fixed and variable component, seeks to provide more equitable funding to the schools."

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