Two hundred and seventy-three students in Sembawang received Edusave awards yesterday in recognition of their achievements in areas such as academic excellence and co-curricular activities.
The Ministry of Education prizes were presented at two venues - one in the function room of the Northoaks Condominium in Woodlands Crescent for residents of both the Northoaks and Woodsvale condominiums, and one at the Sembawang Community Club, for those living in landed homes.
They were the first of nine Edusave award ceremonies for 1,700 students in Sembawang.
Among yesterday's recipients was Greenwood Primary School pupil Chang Cheng Jun, who took home the Edusave Merit Bursary, a cash gift of $250. His mother, operations executive Ting Shao Yen, 37, said: "We knew his grades have improved, but we didn't expect that he would receive an award for it, so it's really a pleasant surprise."
The duo also snapped a photo with Transport Minister and Sembawang GRC MP Khaw Boon Wan, who gave out the awards.
The Edusave Merit Bursary is given to children from the primary to tertiary levels who are in the top 25 per cent of their schools, and whose household's gross monthly income does not exceed $6,000, or their householdd's per capita income does not exceed $1,500.
It was the fourth time the Sembawang constituency has organised multiple award sessions on a smaller scale. Previously, each GRC division would organise a one-day event to give out all the awards. The change is to create more opportunities for residents to interact and get to know the grassroots volunteers.
Madam Lee Tee Choon, who chairs the Sembawang Citizens' Consultative Committee, said: "In the past, when it was one huge event, it was more touch-and-go. Now, we hold the events nearer to the residents and they are in a smaller setting, which makes it easier for people to chat and mingle."
Admiralty Primary School pupil Kimberly Lim, who starts Primary 6 today, received the Edusave Scholarship Award of $350 yesterday. This award is given to Primary 5 and 6 pupils and secondary school students who are in the top 10 per cent of their levels.
Her mother, Madam Marion Chew, 39, said: "The award is definitely a boost for her. It's an encouragement for her to work hard in the new year."