Parliament: MOE on target to set up more student care centres by end 2015

Primary 1 pupils with Bendemeer Primary's student-care teachers. At this school-based student care, pupils get supervision for homework and also have art and sports activities before they are picked up around 7pm. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Primary 1 pupils with Bendemeer Primary's student-care teachers. At this school-based student care, pupils get supervision for homework and also have art and sports activities before they are picked up around 7pm. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Education (MOE) is on target to introduce more student care centres based in schools by the end of next year, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Tuesday.

Some 19 such centres will be set up by end-2015 to cater to demand for before- and after-school services for students, including homework supervision, Mr Heng told the House, adding that MOE will give another update later on its plans for 2016.

These are part of the 40 additional centres that will be set up by the end of 2015, bringing the total number of school-based student care centres to 120, which was earlier announced by the ministry. There were fewer than 50 such centres in 2011.

The names of the 21 schools that will set up their school-based student care centres by the end of this year were released by MOE in February.

"We assess localised needs and actively support primary schools with demand for student care services to set up or expand school-based student care centres within infrastructural constraints," said Mr Heng.

He said that MOE understands that there is demand for student care centre services, and will continue to work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development and student care centre operators to increase the number of places both in our primary schools and in the community.

At the same time, the ministries "are mindful that any expansion must be done at a pace that allows us to maintain quality and affordability", he said.

The minister had been responding to questions from Mr Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) and Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong.