30 new school-based student care centres to be jointly run by all self-help groups

Pupils at a student care centre in Bendemeer Primary School. All four self-help groups will set up and run 30 new school-based student care centres over the next few years.
Pupils at a student care centre in Bendemeer Primary School. All four self-help groups will set up and run 30 new school-based student care centres over the next few years.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Thirty school-based student care centres run jointly by all four self-help groups will be set up over the next few years, with the first one expected to be ready next year. In total, the centres could offer 3,000 places, or even more if demand is higher and centres can find sufficient staff.

The Ministry of Education signed a memorandum of understanding regarding this partnership with the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore Indian Development Association and the Eurasian Association on Thursday at Bendemeer Primary.

School-based student care centres provide supervised after-school care within the primary schools' premises. In a joint statement on Thursday, the ministry and the self-help groups said this partnership will allow schools to better support the holistic development of pupils, especially those from less advantaged backgrounds, by tapping the community resources of all four self-help groups.

There are currently three school-based student care centres run by self-help groups - two by CDAC and one by Mendaki.

Most of the pupils at these centres are from low-income families with working parents who pay a subsidised fee. In future, these could also be run jointly by the four self-help groups.

In the past five years, the number of school-based student care centres has increased from fewer than 50 to 114 today, and enrolment has risen from 3,000 to over 10,000 today.

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg