SINGAPORE - School fees, supplies, and other miscellaneous schooling expenses do not come cheap at times for housewife Aswin Jamee Mohamed Ameerdin, 30, especially with both her two children now in kindergarten.
So she was especially grateful that her sons, Ahmad Zishan, five, and Ahmad Irfan, six, received $200 each in supermarket and bookstore vouchers from the North West Community Development Council (CDC) on Sunday (Dec 8).
"It's our first time receiving this, and we're grateful for this support," said Madam Aswin Jamee, whose husband is a 35-year-old civil servant.
Her sons are two of around 1,600 kindergarten children who are beneficiaries of the North West CDC's bursary programme for pre-schoolers.
The council has raised more than $500,000 in donations, which will be presented to the beneficiaries during 19 different presentation ceremonies of the WeCare @ North West - Ready for School from November till January. Bursaries have been given out to about 500 beneficiaries so far.
Each child receives $100 in supermarket vouchers, and another $100 in bookstore vouchers to defray schooling and household expenses.
The beneficiaries are those under the Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme and childcare subsidy, and come from households with a per capita income of $750 and below.
At Marsiling Community Club on Sunday, 100 kindergarten children received their bursaries.
Minister of State for Manpower and National Development, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, who was at the ceremony, one of three bursary presentations held on the day, said that it is important to support families, in particular for children's education.
"When we talk about social mobility... I think education is the primary pillar for us to manage inequality and to see how we can give our children a better future," said Mr Zaqy, who is also the adviser to the Marsiling -Yew Tee GRC.