Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Award merit bursaries with no strings attached

Dec 20, 2010

Bursary limit

MRS ELIZABETH NG: 'The Edusave Merit Bursary is given annually to students whose monthly household incomes are less than $4,000 and who rank within the top 25 per cent in terms of academic performance in their school. I find this unfair to students whose family incomes are above the income limit. All students need encouragement. Students whose household incomes are above $4,000 could be given a token in recognition of their efforts. These can be in the form of a collar pin, badge or certificate.'

Dec 22, 2010

I AGREE with Mrs Elizabeth Ng's comments on Monday ('Bursary limit') about the need to recognise students' efforts.

For the past few years, my children have been in the top 25 per cent in terms of academic performance in their school, but did not qualify for the Edusave Merit Bursary because our monthly household income is well above $4,000.

Since this is a scheme for students based on their academic performance, then eligibility should not be linked to their household income. The funds should be awarded to them with no strings attached.

The money can be credited into their Post-Secondary Education Account or their savings account for their future educational needs.

Ng Geok Hui (Madam)

[Bursuries are not scholarships. Scholarships are based purely on merit. Bursaries are intended to help needy students. So an income limit for eligibility is justifiable. Mdm Ng may argue for a higher income limit, but not no limit. Or if not limited by household income, then by other measures.

As for recognition, there was this comment:]

I am a parent myself and I don't agree that we should give awards for all students in the top 25% of the school. Most schools already award students for being top in the class. And bursaries are for the ones who need the financial help. Explain to your child that there are some who can't even afford to buy their own textbooks. Don't shelter them so much. Teach the child to be more civic minded.

Posted by: tiffangel at Wed Dec 22 13:35:10 SGT 2010

[Good for tiffangel! Sensible parent. Renews my faith that most parents are even-minded people.]

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