Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said that schools set their own internal guidelines in managing prizes won by student representatives in competitions.
This is his response to questions filed by Mr Zainal Sapari, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, who asked the Minister for Education (Schools) whether there is a policy to guide schools in deciding on the retention of prizes, especially cash prizes or those with cash value, won by students representing the schools during competitions.
The Minister said that the reason why schools set their own prize because this is done based on factors such as the school’s education philosophy, type of prizes and competition rules.
He said that some schools have a practice that book vouchers are shared equally amongst team members.
Mr Ng noted that when cash prizes are given, winners may be encouraged to donate a portion of the cash to support needy students or for their own Co-curricular Activity (CCA), which inculcates in the students a sense of gratitude to the larger community supporting them in the competition and to pay it forward to benefit fellow students through the school programmes.
However, he said that the preparation for, and experience of the competition are the most valuable aspects, which is the educational value the students gain irrespective of prizes won.
“We will remind schools to explain the purpose of their management of cash prizes to students and parents clearly,” the Minister added.