Parliament: MOE on track to have student care centres in all 190 primary schools by 2020

More than 18,000 primary school students are enrolled in school-based student care centre places.
More than 18,000 primary school students are enrolled in school-based student care centre places.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Education has set up 147 student care centres, and is on track to opening such centres in all 190 primary schools by 2020.

Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling said "the provision of school-based student care centre places has largely kept pace with demand", as she responded to a question in Parliament on Tuesday (Jan 10).

More than 18,000 primary school students are enrolled in these centres, which offer services such as meals, homework supervision, games and, in some cases, tuition for pupils.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) had asked if the Ministry of Education (MOE) plans to open up more student care centres, saying that he believed demand for spaces will go up.

Ms Low said the 147 centres now are up from 130 as of last April.

She added: "The majority of the schools do not have waitlists. For the schools with a waitlist, the average number of students on waitlist is less than 10."

She also said MOE will monitor demand as more school-based centres are set up and capacity of existing ones are expanded "at a pace that does not compromise quality".

Mr Liang had also suggested that the MOE work with voluntary welfare organisations to set up more centres.

To this, Ms Low said 45 per cent of the centres are already operated by voluntary welfare organisations.

She added that the centres are typically run by external parties such as voluntary welfare organisations or commercial operators.