Relax rules on funds in education account

The Ministry of Education (MOE) should review its policy on the tapping of Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) funds ("Make it easier for students to use savings account" by Mr Muhammad Idaffi Othman; May 23).

The PSEA is meant to encourage students to continue their education after the completion of secondary school.

However, the funds can be tapped only for programmes offered by approved institutions, such as the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and universities.

In the case of my son, he had a balance of $2,000 from his Edusave account which was transferred to his PSEA. Upon his completion of full-time national service, his PSEA was topped up with a $3,000 national service education award.

However, he was not allowed to use the funds for a full-time degree course offered by a foreign university in partnership with a well-established private institution.

It is likely that the money will continue to be parked in his PSEA until he reaches 30. Unless he is able to and would like to do a postgraduate programme with one of the autonomous universities here, the untapped funds will ultimately be transferred to his Central Provident Fund.

This defeats the purpose of the PSEA - to support parents financially to further their children's education.

Funds from the PSEA will come in handy to help an average parent defray the cost of private university education if their children do not have the option of studying in a university approved by the MOE.

By not being able to tap the funds, parents who are struggling to make ends meet will have no choice but to saddle themselves with a heavier bank loan to finance their children's education.

I sincerely hope the MOE will review its policy to help students in this category.

Chee Sun Mun