Student Care Centres (SCCs), or after school care centres, provide students with a convenient, structured and supportive environment after school.

The majority of SCCs are sited within the community, but as many parents have given positive feedback on school-based SCCs, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has steadily expanded the number and capacity of school-based SCCs to complement the community-based SCCs. In fact I have visited a few SCCs, spoken to parents and students, and I appreciate the value that these centres bring to students.

From less than 50 school-based SCCs in 2011, I announced at this year’s Committee of Supply Debate that we would expand the number of school-based SCCs by a further 40, to 120 by 2015, and had shared the names of the 21 schools that would be setting up their school-based SCCs by end-2014. We are on target to set up an additional 19 school-based SCCs by end-2015. We will announce details of where these centres are in due course and will update later on our plans for 2016.

Our approach is to assess localised needs and we actively support primary schools with demand for student care services to set up or expand school-based SCCs, taking into account infrastructure and demand in school.

With regards to Mr Liang Eng Hwa’s question on encouraging more VWOs to set up SCCs, MOE will work with MSF on this. MOE understands that there is demand for SCC services, and will continue to work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and SCC operators to increase the number of SCC places both in our primary schools and in the community. At the same time, MOE and MSF are mindful that any expansion must be done at a pace that allows us to maintain quality and affordability.