30 STUDENT CARE CENTERS BY SELF-HELP GROUPS IN THE WORKS

30 student care centers, which will be based in schools and run by all 4 self-help groups, are slated to be set up over the next few years. The centers will offer 3,000 places or more for students to spend their time after school and engage in enrichment classes.

These centers will be in addition to 114 current school-based student care centers already in operation, which offer their services to about 10,000 students yearly.

The earliest of the new care centers will be opened as early as next year.

In launching these additional student care centers, the Ministry of Education has partnered the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore Indian Development Association and the Eurasian Association.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the ministry and the self-help groups said this partnership would allow schools to better support the holistic development of pupils, especially those from less advantaged backgrounds, by tapping the community resources of all four self-help groups.

There are currently three school-based student care centres run by self-help groups – two by CDAC and one by Mendaki.

Most of the pupils at these centres are from low-income families with working parents who pay a subsidised fee. In future, these could also be run jointly by the four self-help groups.

In the past 5 years, the number of school-based student care centres has increased from fewer than 50 to 114 today, and enrolment has risen from 3,000 to over 10,000 today.

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