Article from NTUC This Week, published on 2 October 2016
Besides the Child Support Model, NTUC Social Enterprises have other initiatives to help Singaporeans progress at every stage of their education journey. Here’s a recap of several initiatives.
By Fawwaz Baktee
NTUC FAIRPRICE – SHARE-A-TEXTBOOK PROJECT (PRIMARY, SECONDARY AND PRE-UNIVERSITY)
An annual project since 1983, NTUC FairPrice’s Share-A-Textbook project seeks to help primary, secondary and pre-university students from low-income families alleviate their financial burden and save resources through donated used textbooks.
FairPrice also partners with volunteer welfare organisations and community development councils to shortlist names of students from low-income families who will be given priority to collect textbooks before the general public. About 20,000 students registered under the priority scheme benefited from the project last year.
A survey of 600 parents by FairPrice in 2015 found that the Share-A-Textbook initiative continues to meet the needs of the community. Key findings saw 84 percent of low-income respondents agreeing that the scheme was a good way to encourage their children to be thrifty.
Perceptions toward receiving used textbooks were also positive, with almost nine in 10 agreeing that there is no stigma in using pre-owned textbooks and they would not feel embarrassed using them. Ninety-seven percent also agreed that they would recommend the scheme to someone who needs it.
NTUC INCOME – ORANGEAID – FUTURE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (TERTIARY)
Launched on 14 July 2015, NTUC Income’s Future Development Programme under its OrangeAid initiative aims to create a better future through education for students from low-income families who are likely to forego tertiary education in favour of entering the workforce to support their families.
NTUC Income committed $2.5 million to help needy students studying in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics, and will offer a total of 1,000 bursaries over three years. Some 200 bursaries have already been disbursed in 2015. By the end of this year, 400 will be disbursed and another 400 in 2017.
As a group, NTUC Social Enterprises are able to offer a suite of solutions to address major concerns of our society. In this case, we are able to address our fellow Singaporeans’ fear of being left behind, and offer practical solutions to enable them – young and old – to make progress through life.”
– NTUC Enterprise Group CEO Tan Suee Chieh
According to NTUC Income, the bursary funding was designed to assist with the living expenses of the students so that they have more time to concentrate on their education, beyond helping them with their school fees.
The bursaries provide $3,000 annually to each beneficiary studying in polytechnics and $1,800 each to those in ITE.
The programme also provides these students with financial literacy and planning training to help them make sound financial decisions. These students may do internships and contract jobs with NTUC Income during their vacation and may be given an opportunity to work with the social enterprise upon graduation.
NTUC LEARNINGHUB (ADULTS)
NTUC LearningHub (LHUB) off ers working or unemployed adults looking to enhance their qualifications and skills with more than 600 courses that span across subjects such as infocomm technology, soft skills and literacy, workplace safety and health, and customer service training, among many others.
SkillsFuture Credit can be used for these courses.
With its pool of qualified trainers, LHUB has helped to train more than 1.9 million workers in Singapore since 2004.
LHUB’s executive training arm, Next U, also offers courses from best-in-class global and local training providers, covering topics such as productivity, innovation, service excellence, infocomm technology, soft skills and advanced professional skills.
With an aim to get more professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) future-ready, Next U’s progressive curriculum offers new pathways in continuing education.