More than two dozen needy madrasah students who did well in their exams were given financial awards by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) on Thursday.
The 26 secondary and pre-university madrasah students received the awards, which were given out by Muis for the first time, from Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim at a ceremony at the Singapore Islamic Hub.
They received amounts between $1,155 to $1,770 to pay for school expenses like examination fees and uniforms.
The students were part of an existing programme to help low-income madrasah students, called the Progress Fund Madrasah Assistance Scheme (Promas).
This scheme helps students who are from the six full-time madrasahs here and hail from families with a per capita income of $500 and below. Recipients get fee subsidies of over $1,000, with those in the primary level also getting financial help for expenses like transport and food.
Last year, $464,000 was given out to 260 students under the scheme. This year, $488,000 will be disbursed, bringing the total to more than $2 million since its launch in 2010.
At Thursday's ceremony, Mr Yaacob urged parents to ensure their children remain in school even in the face of financial challenges. "Help is readily available. Prioritise your children's education so that they have a chance at a brighter future."
Mr Yaacob also called madrasahs a key religious institution. "Their role will become increasingly crucial as we face a challenging and complex future in both Singapore and the world," he said.