Providing early and targeted support has made a difference to students, particularly those from lower-income families, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
About half of Singapore's students in the bottom socio-economic quarter find themselves in the top quarter of performance internationally, after accounting for background, Mr Lee noted at an awards ceremony in Townsville Primary School yesterday.
He was referring to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which considers such students resilient, outperforming what is predicted by their background.
The support provided includes bursaries for those who need financial assistance, and Edusave scholarships, said Mr Lee, who is also an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.
"These bursaries give the families and the students peace of mind while the students can concentrate, focus, study and complete their schooling," he added.
Yesterday's ceremony is one of two to be held over the weekend, to recognise more than 1,000 students in total through the annual Teck Ghee Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC) Bursary Awards and Ministry of Education Edusave Awards.
The Government works hard but cannot do this alone, Mr Lee said. "We need parents, we need the community to come together to support the students as well." Close to $200,000 was raised for the Teck Ghee bursary awards this year.
Primary 4 pupil Lim Zhi Yi, nine, received the CCC Bursary Award and Edusave Character Award.
Her father was critically ill before her examinations last year, but the Teck Ghee Primary School pupil did not let the difficult period affect her studies, said her mother, Madam Feng Biao Mei, 45.
"It's her second time getting a bursary," said Madam Feng, who has been working longer hours at a fast-food outlet since her husband died.
She said she earns less than $1,000 a month while raising her two children. Asked how she felt about getting the award again, Zhi Yi simply replied: "Happy."