Expansion of UPLIFT Initiatives

Published Date: 10 November 2021 12:00 PM

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1. Established in October 2018, UPLIFT (Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families Taskforce) is an inter-agency team led by the Ministry of Education (MOE) that aims to support and strengthen the partnership between schools and community partners to enhance upstream wraparound support for disadvantaged students. In particular, UPLIFT is committed to tackling long-term absenteeism – a key barrier that impedes students' educational progress and prevents them from achieving their full potential.

2. By strengthening inter-agency case coordination, UPLIFT leverages community efforts and resources more systematically to address multi-faceted issues faced by disadvantaged students. To date, over 50 organisations – including public agencies, Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Social Service Agencies (SSAs), corporates and volunteer groups – have come forward to work with UPLIFT to build a network of care and support.

3. Given the positive outcomes of UPLIFT's pilot initiatives, MOE will further expand these efforts to support more disadvantaged students.

A Nationwide Uplift Community Network

4. UPLIFT, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, will roll out the nationwide UPLIFT Community Network. This is an expansion of the UPLIFT Community Pilot, which has supported more than 300 primary and secondary students in four towns1 since January 2020. From 2022, the Network will be rolled out in stages, starting with eight more towns – Bedok, Chua Chu Kang, Geylang Serai, Jalan Besar, Punggol, Sengkang, Toa Payoh and Yishun – bringing the number of supported Social Service Office (SSO) towns from four to 12. Once fully implemented, the UPLIFT Community Network targets to benefit about 1,800 students nationwide each year.

5. The support for these students and their families is coordinated at the town level under the UPLIFT Community Network, where they are referred to appropriate agencies and community-based resources such as the UPLIFT Family Befrienders, based on their needs.

6. To date, about 120 volunteer UPLIFT Family Befrienders have been recruited and trained. These volunteer befrienders help to build protective factors at home, by checking in with the families and rendering timely social-emotional support and practical help to students and their families.

Uplift Enhanced School Resourcing

7. Since 2019, MOE has piloted the UPLIFT Enhanced School Resourcing programme in 23 schools by allocating additional resources to support whole-school approaches and targeted interventions for students with greater needs.

8. The pilot has thus far supported more than 2,000 students each year and seen encouraging interim outcomes, including improvements in students' attendance and behaviour, as well as a greater sense of belonging amongst the secondary school students. Insights drawn from the pilot were also shared across schools.

9. From 2022, MOE will expand the enhanced resourcing to an additional 24 primary and secondary schools, with plans to extend this to about 100 schools in the next few years. The enhanced resourcing, which will see the deployment of an additional four to five teachers per school for the 24 schools in the first phase, will provide each school with the additional capacity to put in place structures, processes, and customised programmes to support disadvantaged and at-risk students. For example, some teachers could be deployed to provide re-integration and academic support for students with absenteeism issues, while other teachers could be deployed to conduct after-school programmes.

10. When fully rolled out, the UPLIFT Enhanced School Resourcing programme is expected to support around 13,000 students from about 100 schools.


Footnotes
  1. The UPLIFT Community Pilot was launched in 4 towns, namely Boon Lay, Bukit Merah, Kreta Ayer and Woodlands, to strengthen community-based support for disadvantaged students who need more help to attend school more regularly. Around 80% of the students who have been placed on the pilot for one year since early 2020 are attending school more regularly.
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