Ministry of Education (MOE) has steadily increased the number of school-based Student Care Centres (SCCs) from less than 50 five years ago to today’s 147. The overall enrolment has risen steadily from about 3,000 to more than 18,000 students.
This was shared by Minister for Education Ng Chee Meng in response to questions filed by Mr Liang Eng Hwa from Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
Mr Liang had asked the Minister for Education (Schools) on the progress of the setting up of school-based SCC in all primary schools, whether the Ministry is seeing increasing demand for more places, and whether the Ministry has plans to increase the number of places in each school.
The Minister said that MOE recognises that Student Care Centres (SCCs) provide important after-school support for students.
He noted that MOE is on track to open SCCs in all primary schools by end 2020. The provision of school-based SCC places has largely kept pace with demand. The majority of the schools do not have wait lists.
“For the schools with a wait list, the average number of students on wait list is less than ten,” he added.
Mr Ng stated that MOE will continue to monitor the demand for school-based SCC places closely, and work with our schools to improve the accessibility of SCCs through the setting up of new SCCs as well as expanding capacity for existing ones, where appropriate, at a pace that does not compromise quality.
Such services were provided as many students do not have a conducive and structured environment after school hours as most parents are busy working to make a living.
External parties such as voluntary welfare organisations or commercial operators typically run the centres.
In 2015, there were four self-help groups who came together to form a joint venture company which runs six care centres in schools.