May 15, 2020

SINGAPORE: The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has committed up to S$300,000 in funding to extend the Recess@Home programme until the end of the “circuit breaker” on Jun 1, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (May 14).

Recess@Home is a partnership between MOE, CFS and community donors that had provided meal subsidies for students during the full home-based learning period between Apr 8 and May 4.

The programme supports students whose families have been “adversely impacted” by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the unexpected loss of income, said the ministry.

Primary school students and secondary school students received S$80 and S$120 respectively for the period between Apr 8 and May 4.

Students who are then identified by schools as needing additional support will be given more help under the extended programme.

These students will receive S$60 if they are in primary school, and S$120 if they are in secondary school for the mid-year holidays in May, said MOE.

“Students identified by schools for the extended Recess@Home programme will receive the same amount of meal subsidies as their peers on MOE’s Financial Assistance Scheme,” the ministry added.

To date, the partnership with CFS has benefited about 27,000 students in primary, secondary, junior college and special education schools during the home-based learning period, with about S$650,000 in funding, the ministry said.

The Recess@Home subsidies were disbursed via top-ups to the students’ School Smartcard, which students can use to purchase food and essential groceries at some hawker centres, food courts, convenience stores, supermarkets and minimarts.

With the extension of the circuit breaker period to Jun 1, the ministry announced in April that the mid-year school holidays would be brought forward, with schools reopening on Jun 2.

It also announced on May 3 that it would continue providing meal subsidies to students on the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), Independent School Bursary and Special Education FAS throughout the circuit breaker period, given “exceptional circumstances” this year.

Typically, meal subsidies are not provided during school holidays, MOE had said in a press release at the time.

Source: CNA © Mediacorp Pte. Ltd.