Primary school students protest against Edusave scheme
Inspired by the recent protest over the CPF scheme, students from primary schools across Singapore have also gathered to voice their disapproval over yet another government financing programme — the Edusave Scheme.
Dubbed the “Return My Edusave” protest, the event saw over 6,000 students from more than 100 primary schools gathering at Hong Lim Park to protest against the government’s handling of their Edusave funds — a scheme aimed ostensibly at providing students with funds to pay for enrichment programmes.
They claimed that government control over the Edusave Endowment Fund was akin to “student exploitation” and that students ought to be given full control over how their Edusave funds were spent.
“Why should the government control how I want to spend my money?”, said one student at the protest, adding that “if I want to buy an Xbox for my own educational enrichment, I should be allowed to since it’s my money.”
Poh-Kiat Mah Ngee, 12, one of the protest organisers, also argued that since unspent money in a student’s Edusave account ultimately gets transferred to their CPF account once they leave school, then the two funds should be treated equally.
“I think it’s unfair that the government is treating students like second-class Singaporeans compared to adults. What if I want to buy property while I’m still in school?”, said Poh-Kiat.
He also said: “I empathise very strongly with the ‘Return my CPF’ protesters since they, like us, also have a very primary-school level of understanding over how government money is spent.”
The students involved in organising the protest were all awarded Community Involvement Programme points for their service to the community.