SINGAPORE – More than 1,200 students were given a financial boost for the new year when they received Ministry of Education Edusave Awards or bursaries from the Teck Ghee Citizens’ Consultative Committee on Saturday.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presented 924 students with the Edusave Award, which comes with a cash award of $100 to $500, and 300 bursaries – each worth $250 to $550 – in a ceremony at Townsville Primary School. Sixty-three donors were given plaques for raising funds for the bursaries.
The Edusave Award is given to students based on their character, leadership and academic performance to motivate them to continue to excel.
The bursary provides financial relief to students from lower-income families so that they can focus on their studies.
PM Lee, who is also the grassroots adviser for the Teck Ghee ward of Ang Mo Kio GRC, acknowledged in his speech that students have had to deal with changes – such as home-based learning and restrictions to movement – during the Covid-19 pandemic, but added that 2023 would be a good year for students, who would not need to sit mid-year examinations.
Urging students to spend less time preparing for exams, and more on learning and exploring new things, he said: “You do well, there are jobs; opportunities will be there also. It is for us to take it, to make the most of it, and to succeed.
“The Edusave Scholarship is just one token to reward you, recognise you, encourage you to do well, do your best, work with your friends – not only on the academic part but also the leadership part, the character part.”
Among the Edusave award recipients was Primary 6 pupil Caleb Goh, who received the award for good character. The Ang Mo Kio Primary School pupil was born in the United States and moved back to Singapore only in late 2020.
“It was a bit hard at first understanding my teachers and classmates because of the accents; I didn’t understand Singlish well. But I am used to it now and have made some very good friends who support me,” said the 12-year-old, who aspires to be a scientist when he grows up.
Secondary 3 student Harshini Pragash was another recipient of the Edusave Award. The Serangoon Gardens Secondary School student is among the top 25 per cent of students in her cohort.
She said: “I want to be an early childhood educator when I grow up. I will continue working hard.”
In his speech at the event, PM Lee also urged Singaporeans to stay up to date with their Covid-19 vaccinations, and to keep themselves safe and the situation in Singapore under control, as “there is Covid-19 in China, there is Covid-19 in many other countries”.
Revealing that he had taken his bivalent fourth jab before he travelled to Europe in December 2023, he said: “If you have done your earlier jabs, this jab is safe. So I hope you will do that, protect yourself and you can go forth and take advantage of all the opportunities and all the things we can do together in the world.”