Enhanced Financial Support for Needy Students Amidst Rising Cost Pressures

Published Date: 24 August 2022 03:00 PM

News Press Releases

1. From 1 January 2023, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be increasing transport and meal subsidies for primary and secondary students under the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), as well as bursaries for pre-university students. Some 44,000 students will benefit from the enhancements.

2. The MOE FAS helps to defray the cost of basic schooling expenses for students from lower income households. For primary and secondary school students, the MOE FAS fully covers the cost of school and standard miscellaneous fees, textbooks and school uniforms, as well as meal and transport subsidies. For pre-university students, it fully covers the cost of school and standard miscellaneous fees and provides a cash bursary and transport subsidies.

3. A summary of the enhancements are as follows:

Current Provision Enhanced Provision from January 2023
Monthly School Bus Subsidy (for primary school students) 60% of monthly school bus fare 65% of monthly school bus fare
Monthly Public Transport Subsidy (for primary to pre-university students)1 $15 $17
School Meal Subsidies2 $2 per school meal for 7 meals per school week for primary school

$2.90 per school meal for 10 meals per school week for secondary school
$2.60 per school meal for 7 meals per school week for primary school

$3.50 per school meal for 10 meals per school week for secondary school
Pre-university Bursary3 $1,000 per annum $1,200 per annum

Pricing Cap Adjustment for Contracted School Bus Fares

4. School bus fares are set by the bus operators through a competitive bidding process with the respective schools, with a pricing cap that is fixed for a number of years. The rise in fuel and manpower costs in recent months has made it more challenging for school bus operators to sustain their operations at pricing caps that had been fixed before the recent rise in fuel prices. To this end, MOE will be supporting schools in granting a one-time increase to the pricing cap for school bus fares.

5. From 1 January 2023, the cap for school bus fares under existing school bus contracts between schools and bus operators will be allowed to increase by 7%. This will let bus operators exercise the flexibility to raise their fares up to the revised cap, if necessary, to continue providing transport services to students, while keeping their operations sustainable.

6. Bus operators will inform parents/guardians of any revisions to the bus fares from September 2022, so that parents/guardians can take these into consideration when planning for transport arrangements in the new school year. Students who require financial assistance will also receive more support through our enhancements to the MOE FAS, and additional help through school-based FAS if needed.

7. MOE will continue to monitor developments and work closely with school bus operators to ensure that school bus fares are kept affordable for students.


Footnotes
  1. Applicable to students studying in MOE-funded Special Education (SPED) Schools and those receiving 100% school fee subsidy under the MOE Independent School Bursary (ISB).

  2. Applicable to students studying in MOE-funded SPED Schools and those receiving 100% school fee subsidy under the MOE ISB. While there is a prescribed rate per school meal and a prescribed number of meals per school week, schools are given the flexibility to give additional school meal subsidy support to their FAS students based on students' needs and the canteen food prices in their schools.

  3. Applicable to pre-university students receiving 100% school fee subsidy under the MOE ISB.

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