Independent schools give assurance in joint statement
The Straits Times
| Nov 21, 1989
THE five independent
schools and Raffles Institution - which will become independent
in January - issued a joint statement yesterday assuring parents
that ability to pay will not be the criterion for admission of pupils.
Although the schools have earlier given similar assurances, this
is the first time they have issued a joint statement which comes
in the wake of comments from politicians and the public on the higher
For instance, Mr Peh Chin Hua, MP for Jalan Besar GRC, called the
new rates a "heavy burden on poor families". First Deputy
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had, on the other hand, given the assurance
that the Government will ensure that no child will be denied a place
in an independent school just because he
cannot afford the fees.
From next year, Anglo-Chinese School, Chinese High and Raffles Institution,
will charge students $100 per month, while the new monthly fees
for Methodist Girls' School, Singapore Chinese Girls' School and
St Joseph's Institution will be $50.
For RI, the new fee next year will apply only to Secondary 1 pupils.
Currently, students at the five independent schools pay $25 a month
while students at RI pay $10.50 a month.
In the joint statement, the six principals encouraged "able
students, regardless of their financial circumstances, to apply
for admission to our schools". Students with financial difficulties
are advised to contact the principals of these schools as soon as
possible, it said.
The principals also stressed that the Government has set up a Financial
Assistance Scheme to help needy students who require financial help
to pay the fees. The schools have also set up scholarship funds
which can provide extra help.
If pupils need further help, independent school students can, like
any other secondary school students, apply for the Ministry of Education's
other schemes which provide bursaries and free textbooks.
The six principals reiterated that their schools have a tradition
of accepting students from all strata of society. "We intend
to preserve this tradition and to continue with our policy of admitting
students on the basis of academic merit," they added.
On the fee increase, they said that "the only consideration
that guided us in our decision to raise school fees was to provide
quality education to all pupils in our schools".
Besides school fees, another source of finance for the independent
schools is the capitation grant from the Ministry of Education.
At present, the capitation grant independent schools receive is
$2,800 per student per year. This is calculated on the Government's
annual cost of educating a secondary student in a government or
government-aided school, a figure which varies from year to year.
The statement said: "The additional educational programmes
that we intend to implement will incur additional costs which have
to be met. It is our responsibility to raise the additional funds
that we need.
"While we can finance part of the additional costs through
donations, it is inevitable that part of the costs will have to
be funded through higher school fees."