SINGAPORE - The four self-help groups gave out Joint Tuition Awards to 694 students on Saturday to recognise their academic improvement.
The awards - given out by the Chinese Development Assistance Council, Eurasian Association, Sinda and Yayasan Mendaki - are being held for the 12th time to reward the good results of students who sat for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), N levels and O levels.
The students, who are beneficiaries of the groups' subsidised tuition programmes, each received $100 to $150 worth of Popular bookstore vouchers at the event held at the Institute of Technical Education's headquarters in Ang Mo Kio. This is the highest number of tuition awards the self-help groups have given. Last year 571 students received the prizes.
Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, who was the guest-of-honour at the ceremony, said: "We place much emphasis on education in Singapore because it is the surest means of ensuring social mobility in our meritocratic society.
"Every Singaporean knows that for hard work and proficiency in our chosen fields will be recognised and lead to a better life for ourselves and our families."
Mr Iswaran, who is also Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry noted that the Education Ministry has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the four self-help groups to set up 30 school-based student care centres.
The centres, which will be run by a joint venture company that will be owned by the four self-help groups, will cater to lower-income students.
At the awards ceremony on Saturday, the groups also launched a cookbook featuring multi-racial recipes.