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More Families Benefit from SINDA’s Subsidy Revision Full Subsidy or Lower Fees Mean Significant Savings

42-year-old Mdm Barkatunisa, who works as an Admin Assistant, was thrilled to hear that starting 1 July 2018, she will only need to pay $20 altogether for her two daughters enrolled in SINDA’s STEP tuition, for a whole year. The children are also free to choose as many subjects as they wish to get tuition for and their fees will remain unchanged. Her elder daughter, who is currently in Secondary 4, takes tuition for Mathematics while her younger one in Primary 5 has tuition for Mathematics and Science. At the moment, the total cost of their STEP tuition fees is $300 a year. “Being able to make huge savings from this subsidy criteria revision by SINDA is definitely good news to me. My daughters are always eager to go for STEP tuition and they find the classes very beneficial. It is heartening to know that I now get to fork out lesser for their fees and they still get to enjoy quality tuition,” said Mdm Barkatunisa.

1. As of 1 July 2018, SINDA will revise its subsidy eligibility criteria across all its programmes that currently charge fees. Under the new criteria, every programme participant who comes from a family with a per capita income (PCI) of $1,000 and below will receive a full waiver of the programme fees and a participant coming from a family with a PCI of $1,001 and above will pay a one-time commitment fee of $10 per programme. Programmes that SINDA runs free of charge will remain unchanged.

2. In addition, for students enrolled or enrolling in tutorial programmes such as SINDA’s STEP tuition or Teach Programme, the full-year commitment payment of $10 is regardless of the number of subjects they enrol in tuition for. These newlyintroduced changes would enable a greater number of lower and lower-middle income
families to benefit from SINDA programmes, as well as encourage more Singapore Indian students to enrol in SINDA programmes.

3. Acting CEO of SINDA, Mr Anbarasu Rajendran, said: “SINDA has the interests of both parents and students at heart and we want as many students as possible to be able to get access to affordable tuition. No student should be deprived of receiving the additional academic help they require due to their family’s financial situation. We hope that the introduction of this new subsidy criteria will encourage more parents to enrol their children for SINDA’s STEP tuition classes so that the children can gain from the many benefits of attending STEP tuition.”

4. There are currently 3,379 preschoolers and students enrolled across STEP tuition, Teach Programme and the Literacy and Numeracy programme. With effect from 1 July 2018, approximately 52% of them will be eligible for full fee waivers and the remaining preschoolers and students will pay the full-year commitment fee of $10. This means more than half of them will be enrolled in their respective programmes at no cost.

5. Welcoming this change is another parent, Mdm Jamina Banu, who has three daughters enrolled in STEP tuition. Two of her daughters are in primary school and they take tuition for English, Mathematics and Science, while her oldest in Secondary 3 goes for Mathematics and Science tuition. From 1 July 2018 onwards, all three of them will be eligible for a full fee waiver and Mdm Jamina will not need to pay for their tuition at all. “The savings I make from this will come in very handy to buy them additional revision material, school supplies or even give them a little extra pocket money. Whenever they ask for something, more often than not, I’m not able to buy it for them. Now, I will be able to treat them to something that they like from time to time,” she said.

6. As part of its efforts to reach out to more people in the lower and lower-middle income brackets, SINDA introduced two new initiatives this year – the Beacon Fund and the Equal Opportunity Fund. The Beacon Fund provides assistance to individuals and families facing financial hardships by offering them emergency assistance, interim assistance and household, mobility or IT assistance. On the other hand, the Equal Opportunity Fund is a special scheme which enables Indian children and youth,

aged between three and 25 years old from low-income families, to attend enrichment programmes for their holistic and talent development.

7. The subsidy criteria revision and the new initiatives by SINDA all have a common aim of supporting people in the Indian community by providing them with the necessary resources to improve themselves and have a bright future ahead of them.

Source:  SINDA’s Press Release

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