THE hefty cost of photocopying notes and getting to school and home, totalling about $70 a month, used to worry Jurong Junior College student Dominic Heng, 17.
Now with a bigger Ministry of Education bursary of $750, up from $500, he has an extra $250 for expenses.
His electrician father is the sole breadwinner, earning $1,000 a month. He supports Dominic, two younger children and Dominic's grandmother in a Woodlands three-room flat. Dominic's mother died when he was in Primary 5.
Dominic's two younger siblings are in secondary school and are also on the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS). Families with three or more children qualify for FAS if their gross monthly household income is $1,800 or less. Under FAS, school and miscellaneous fees are waived and students pay just 25 per cent of National Examination fees.
WHAT'S NEW IN THIS BUDGET
- An increase of $250 in bursary support to $750 to help needy students defray school expenses.
- All schools will receive a one-time grant of $10,000.
- Schools with more than 10 per cent of students under FAS will get an additional $10,000
This article was first published in The Straits Times.