Budget 2013: More programmes to help students who are weak in English, maths

Close to 60,000 primary and secondary school students each year are expected to benefit from initiatives made available to give those weak in English and mathematics a leg up.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Wednesday announced a number of new programmes to compliment existing ones for weaker students. These programmes will use flexible teaching approaches and pupils will get extra coaching from specially-trained teachers in small groups of about 10, about four times a week.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will roll out the programmes across all levels in schools - from Primary 1 to Secondary 4 - in the next two to three years. About 600 teachers will be trained to carry out these programmes and schools with greater needs will receive more resources.

Currently, at the primary school level, students who are weak in English and Maths are put on the Learning Support Programme (LSP) and Learning Support for Mathematics (LSM) respectively. But its reach is limited, as LSP is only for Primary 1 and 2 pupils, while the maths programme is only for those in primary 1.

There is no structured programmes for those who are older, even though most schools have their own remedial programmes for weaker students.