Polytechnic students will be eligible for Edusave awards from next year.
Two categories - the Edusave Merit Bursary and Edusave Good Progress Award - will be extended to polytechnics.
Also, a new Edusave Skills Award will be introduced next year for polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to recognise non-academic excellence, including achievements at conferences and competitions.
Acting Minister of Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, who made the announcement at an Edusave award ceremony at North View Primary School in Yishun yesterday, said poly students should be recognised with Edusave awards.
"They have also worked hard, achieved good results and made progress," he said.
EDUSAVE AWARD CATEGORIES FOR STUDENTS
EDUSAVE MERIT BURSARY
Amount: $200 to $500*
For: Students within the top 25 per cent of each level and course in their schools, and from households with monthly income of not more than $6,000, or per capita income not exceeding $1,500.
GOOD PROGRESS AWARD
Amount: $100 to $400*
For: Students from Primary Two onwards who are among the top 10 per cent of those who have made significant improvement in their academic performance.
EDUSAVE AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT, GOOD LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE
Amount: $250 to $500*
For: Students from Primary Four onwards who display good leadership, service to community and school, or excellence in non-academic activities. (Polytechnic students excluded.)
EDUSAVE CHARACTER AWARD
Amount: $200 to $500*
For: Students who demonstrate exemplary character and outstanding personal qualities through their behaviour and actions. (Poly students excluded.)
EDUSAVE SKILLS AWARD
For: Graduating polytechnic and ITE students who excel in course-specific skills and soft skills like problem solving.
ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SCHOOLS
Government-funded special education schools get an annual grant of $100 for each Singaporean student. The money is used to disburse school-based achievement awards to students who meet the school's criteria.
*Depends on level of study
Before this, the Edusave awards covered only primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and ITE.
With the extension of the two awards, 15,000 more students will be recognised each year.
The new Edusave Skills Award for polys and ITE will be given to 3,500 students every year.
The extension of the two awards and the new award will cost the Ministry of Education (MOE) up to $9 million yearly.
Since the Edusave award scheme was introduced in 1993, about 2.2 million awards have been given out.
This year, the MOE will hand out about 120,000 awards.
Mr Ong said the new Edusave Skills Award is timely as Singapore has embarked on a SkillsFuture movement to encourage students and working adults to deepen their skills. He said the new Edusave Skills Award will further encourage students to master skills.
Mr Dickson Ng, 20, who is doing an accountancy diploma at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said the Edusave Awards are a further incentive to do well: "It is nice to know we are being included, that we are part of the conversation as Singapore changes its education landscape."
Yesterday, about 600 students in Ang Mo Kio GRC's Teck Ghee ward received Citizens' Consultative Committee bursary awards during a ceremony at Townsville Primary School. Secondary 1 student Nur Qysteena Dylalia Osman, 13, of Deyi Secondary, said the award will help her family with her school fees, stationery and phone bills.
Their MP, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, urged them to give back to society when they graduate.
"This bursary is a little bit of a help we can give you, to buy your school uniforms or textbooks or the necessary stationery for the year," he said. "Treat it also as an encouragement to work hard, do well, and do even better."
•Additional reporting by Walter Sim