Singapore Budget 2015: More support for students in special education schools

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Education will ramp up support for students with special learning needs, Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information Sim Ann said in Parliament on Friday.

Students attending special education (Sped) schools who are recipients of MOE's financial assistance scheme will receive $120 in transport credits per year to help defray public transport expenses.

Those who ride the school bus are already eligible for transport subsidies from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, which can cover up to 80 per cent of fees.

Sped schools, which now receive $15,000 in Government grants for their school-based financial assistance scheme, will soon get about $25,000 on average per school.

Under the school-based financial assistance scheme, schools can provide discretionary assistance to needy students in terms of transport allowance or meal coupons under the school-based financial assistance scheme.

Singaporean students in Sped schools will also not need to pay fees for national exams, or exams leading to a national vocational certification.

"We will continue to extend financial support, to help Sped students fulfil their aspirations," said Ms Sim.

All primary schools will offer school-based dyslexia remediation programmes by 2016, she added.

This year alone, 60 primary schools will offer the programme for dyslexic students. It will benefit an additional 290 students, bringing the total number of students who have benefitted from the programme since it began in 2012 to 1,800.

"As reading forms a critical foundation for learning, it is important that we provide these students with targeted help," said Ms Sim.