630 students recognised for academic performance and resilience

When she was studying for the PSLE last year, Amira Akhtar was also helping her younger brother with his homework as part of her responsibilities as the eldest of three children.

Now a Secondary 1 student at National Junior College, where she is enrolled in a six-year Integrated Programme, Amira, 13, remembered finding it hard to concentrate on her schoolwork in the family's three-room flat as her baby brother would often cry during her online lessons.

She also had to share a computer with her brother who was in Primary 5, so it was a rush for her to log into Zoom for her classes after his lessons ended.

Amira was one of 630 students honoured at the 18th Joint Tuition Awards Ceremony held at the School of the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday.

The ceremony was hosted by the four self-help groups - the Chinese Development Assistance Council, the Eurasian Association, the Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) and Yayasan Mendaki.

Given the Covid-19 safe management measures, only the 15 top overall award recipients were invited to attend the ceremony in person.

The other 615 will receive their book vouchers and certificates at designated locations.

The students were among those who attended the Collaborative Tuition Programme organised by the four groups.

The programme helps low- income families access affordable tuition. The income criteria to receive fully subsidised tuition differ across the self-help groups.

At the awards ceremony, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing commended the award winners for their hard work, noting how it has been a challenging year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"So long as you are born a Singaporean and you try hard, we will do our best to let you have the opportunities to fulfil your potential," he said.

In recognition of their academic achievements and resilience, the students received a total of $72,100 in book vouchers. - THE STRAITS TIMES