New award to be given to schools caring for disadvantaged students from next year

SINGAPORE – An award to celebrate Singaporean schools that foster inclusivity and care for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and with greater learning needs will be given from next year.

Called the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations in Uplifting Students (LHL AIUS), it will replace the current Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations in the Normal Course (LHL AIN).

The LHL AIUS will be worth $3,000 and come with a trophy.

The change was announced by Minister for Education Lawrence Wong at the annual appointment and appreciation ceremony for principals on Tuesday (Dec 29).

This follows the announcement by then Education Minister Ong Ye Kung last year that the Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical streams would be gradually phased out by 2024.

The new award is open to all primary and secondary schools rather than just schools with Normal Course students, making it possible for 339 schools to participate, up from the 111 schools who were eligible for its older iteration.

The LHL AIN was first given out in 2009 to recognise schools that had implemented innovative practices and raised the quality of education in the Normal Course.

The new target groups are students from low-income families, at-risk students and learners requiring educational support.

Schools that improve their efforts towards these groups of students will be considered for the award.

“Schools would be evaluated based on their effective, sustained and innovative efforts in catering to the needs of the target students,” said the Ministry of Education in an information sheet about the new award.

In his speech on Tuesday, Mr Wong emphasised the important role that schools play in uplifting students who are usually overlooked:

“We want to recognise schools’ efforts in supporting the needs of a more diverse group of students,” he said.

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