Thursday deadline for ST fund school applications

Beneficiaries of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund with a cheque for a $500,000 donation to the fund at an Appreciation Day event on Oct 7.
Beneficiaries of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund with a cheque for a $500,000 donation to the fund at an Appreciation Day event on Oct 7. ST PHOTO: DON CHI

SINGAPORE - The deadline for students to apply for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) through their schools is next Thursday (Nov 10).

As of yesterday, more than 800 have applied through their schools, in the new partnership between STSPMF and the Ministry of Education (MOE), announced last month by STSPMF chairman Warren Fernandez.

Mrs Tan Joo Yee, bursar of Nanyang Girls' High School who handles financial matters, said the school has submitted 10 applications.

She said: "The girls come from families with challenging financial backgrounds. We kept quite close tabs on them, since they had already been on financial assistance from the school or MOE.

"Hence we shortlisted them and asked them to apply."

Mrs Tan added: "The fund gives them extra pocket money towards schooling expenses. Although two applicants didn't fully meet the criteria, we still submitted anyway, with appeals."

She said the new system is good as the shortlisting and application process is done by the schools now.

"We know our own students better, and have built up supportive relations with them. Also, some parents might not know the existence of such schemes," she said.

This year, four more agencies were added to the existing 68 disbursing agencies.

The four are youth centres Lutheran Community Care Services, Reach Youth Powerhouse, Touch Young Arrows and Youth Guidance Outreach Services.

Students can still apply through these agencies after Thursday's deadline for applications through schools close.

Set up in 2000, the STSPMF has disbursed $52.4 million over 15 years, helping 144,451 primary, secondary and post-secondary school beneficiaries.

Applicants can get the forms from schools or disbursing agencies before completing them and submitting them with supporting documents.