The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced that it will pilot the use of PayNow to disburse Edusave Award monies to Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnic students in 2018 for greater convenience and efficiency, in line with Singapore’s efforts to become a Smart Nation.
PayNow is a funds transfer service that enables the customers of seven participating banks to send and receive Singapore Dollar funds from one bank to another in Singapore, using just their mobile number or NRIC/FIN, almost instantly. The seven participating banks are: Citibank Singapore Limited, DBS Bank/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Overseas Bank.
The Edusave Awards were started in 1993 to encourage Singaporean students to excel in both academic and non-academic areas. The awards are presented at the community level to foster local community relations through education.
The awards include the Edusave Character Award (ECHA) for ITE students, Edusave Skills Award (ESA) for ITE and polytechnic students, EAGLES for ITE students, Edusave Merit Bursary for ITE and polytechnic students, and Edusave Good Progress Award for ITE and polytechnic students (from Year 2 onwards).
Currently, award recipients receive certificates and award monies in the form of cheques at the various Edusave Award ceremonies. Upon depositing the cheques, recipients would then receive the monies in their bank accounts within two working days.
Under the pilot, PayNow will be used instead to facilitate faster and more convenient payment of Edusave Award monies. Once ITE and polytechnic Edusave Award recipients have signed up for PayNow with their respective banks (using their NRIC numbers), and are presented with their Award certificates at the presentation ceremony, they will receive the monies in their bank accounts directly on the day of the ceremony.
Therefore, students and parents will not have to visit a bank to deposit their cheques nor wait for the award monies to be credited into their accounts.
The pilot will involve two runs in April and September 2018, involving about 9,000 ITE students and 25,000 ITE and polytechnic students respectively.
MOE stated that it will share more details of the pilot with stakeholders such as grassroots advisors, constituency offices, ITE colleges, polytechnics, and award recipients before the first award ceremony in April.
"We will also send letters to award recipients to let them know which Edusave Award(s) they will be receiving, and these letters will include instructions on how to sign up for PayNow using their NRIC number," it added.
After completing the pilot, MOE stressed that it will review if the process can be extended to Edusave Awards for all other students.