20 PRC students from Shandong province alone were awarded the MOE Scholarship on 23 May 2019 (Photo: TaiAn No 1 Senior High School)

China high school mysteriously takes down press release of its students being awarded MOE scholarship

TOC reported last month (‘TaiAn No.1 Senior High: 4 of 20 MOE scholars for Shandong province from our school‘, 6 Jul) that Shandong Tai An Senior High School of China issued a press release in May to highlight that 4 of its students were awarded the Singapore MOE scholarship after passing the written tests and interviews with flying colors.

The 4 PRC students arrived in Singapore last month and were assigned to Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) or Singapore University of Technology and Design. In their first year here, they would be focusing on studying the English language before proceeding to undertake their undergraduate study.

It was reported that this year is the 18th year that MOE has awarded scholarships to high school students in China to study at Singapore’s local universities, under the MOE’s Senior Middle School Scholarship (SM2) programme. This scholarship programme specifically targets at PRC students.

Tai An Senior High School also revealed that for this year’s scholarship, there were altogether 20 students in Shandong province alone given the scholarship (there are 22 provinces, 4 municipalities and 5 autonomous regions in China). Four of the 20 were from its school.

Not long after the school issued the press release to announce the above wonderful news, it was mysteriously taken down from its website. The link no longer shows the news:

However, other Chinese news portal like sina.com.cn has already picked up the news and as at last check, the news on Shandong Tai An Senior High School is still intact:

Why press release was taken down?

It’s unlikely that officials of Tai An Senior High School would visit TOC, prompting them to take down their press release. Also, with TOC reporting it too, the school would feel glad and proud that their school has produced scholars worthy of Singapore’s education. Why would they want to take down such good news from their website?

Hence, it’s not known if any of the MOE officials have contacted them asking them to do so, especially with the impending General Election and with Singaporean netizens expressing negative views on giving scholarships worth hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign students.

According to Baidu, PRC scholars under SM2 programme would receive an annual allowance of S$6,000. This does not include school fees, food and lodging which are fully paid for by MOE.

And according to NUS’ website, the annual cost for the tuition fees in the school will cost about $39,736 to $48,836. As a student will typically take three years to complete the programme which means a sum of $119,208 to $146,508 will be paid by MOE for the scholars studying in NUS (not including the annual allowance).

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that local Singaporean Lim Koh Leong, 60, was not allowed by the CPF Board to fund his daughter’s education despite having more than enough money in his CPF account. He had revealed that he currently has more than $70,000 in his CPF account and he only needs $15,000 for his daughter’s school fees. Mr Lim ended up getting help from his family members to fund his daughter’s $15,000 school fees and would not bother the CPF Board anymore.