SINGAPORE - Like other students, Siti Aisyah Iskandar Muda Abdul Jalil sometimes has to ask her siblings to turn down the television while she studies.
Unlike many students, however, Aisyah has eight other siblings. Home is a five-room executive flat they share with their parents.
"They are considerate most of the time," said the 16-year-old Madrasah Al-Maarif Al-Islamiah student, whose siblings range in age from 27 to seven.
The family is supported by her 55-year-old father, a lecturer, and her 27-year-old sister, a part-time waitress and motivational trainer. Her mother, 52, is a housewife.
Aisyah , who is currently in Secondary Four, has consistently ranked among the top five students in her class. On Saturday (Feb 4), she was one of 30 madrasah students to receive the Progress Fund Madrasah Assistance Scheme (Promas) awards at a ceremony at Madrasah Al-Ma'arif in Geylang.
Launched in 2014, the award recognises academic excellence among needy students of the six full-time madrasahs here.
Each recipient can get up to $2,855, which will go towards subsidising their school fees as well as other expenses such as transportation and books.
This year the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) will give out $488,000 to students from all six madrasahs here as part of the Promas disbursement, a $35,000 increase from last year.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim - who attended the ceremony - congratulated the recipients, noting that the disbursement had been made possible through the contributions of the community.
While she has not decided on her course of study following her O-Levels, Aisyah hopes to be able to further her interest in astronomy.
"I want to work in Nasa," she said, referring to the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration.