Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Education whether the Ministry provides any subsidies and accreditation to Singapore international schools located in cities outside of Singapore.
The Minister of State for Education (Ms Gan Siow Huang) (for the Minister for Education): Mr Deputy Speaker, MOE provides funding and teaching support to the Singapore International School in Hong Kong (SISHK).
Mr Deputy Speaker: Assoc Prof Jamus Lim.
Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim (Sengkang): Thank you for the response. I am just wondering if we could get some numbers in terms of – of course, keeping in mind that these numbers are not strictly comparable due to price differences – cross-country prices. But is there a percentage of subsidies extended to international schools? And is there a distinction between such support for the school as an aggregate or is it directed specifically to reducing the fees paid by Singaporeans abroad.
Ms Gan Siow Huang: The subsidy given to Singaporean students in the Singapore International School in Hong Kong is an absolute quantum. It is used for them to offset part of the school fees.
Mr Deputy Speaker: Assoc Prof Jamus Lim, go ahead.
Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: Just very quickly, is there a strategic reason why Hong Kong and not any of the other international schools.
Ms Gan Siow Huang: The Singapore International School in Hong Kong, was set up in the 1990s, and that was a time when there were many Singaporean adults who were working in Hong Kong and with a sizeable number of children who wanted to have a Singapore-style and Singapore curriculum type of education in Hong Kong. MOE then extended assistance to the community in Hong Kong so that this would ease the Singaporean students’ integration into our education system when they return to Singapore.
We look at the demand and while there are many Singaporeans working overseas in many large cities out there, we understand that not all are staying in the same place and some cities are large. And secondly, not all parents want a Singapore-style and Singapore curriculum type of education for their children. A lot of the consideration is driven by the demand from the parents. And of course, we also consider the resources needed, the resources in terms of educators as well as funding that have to be made available to these international schools.
Ministry of Education
9 November 2022