New pledges to fund the scholarships come from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
SINGAPORE - Sponsors have pledged more than $3 million in additional funding for scholarships and financial assistance for students from Singapore and the region to study at SJI International. This commitment is additional to the $1 million pledged earlier by members of the Leadership Council for SJI International.
Above, Economic Development Board Managing Director Mr Ko Kheng Hwa (left in photo) and Chairman of SJI International Mr Lawrence da Silva (right in photo) sign the Memorandum of Understanding to the successful establishment of Singapore's third privately-funded school.
This new financial commitment has been made by 12 individuals and corporations from Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand, revealed Singapore Minister of National Development Mah Bow Tan at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Economic Development Board (EDB) and St. Joseph's Institution (SJI) on Sep 27 for the establishment of SJI International.
The MOU was signed between Ko Kheng Hwa, Managing Director of EDB, and Lawrence da Silva, Chairman of SJI International, at the Singapore Arts Museum - the original SJI - at Bras Basah Road.
Approval for setting up the privately funded SJI International was granted by the Ministry of Education on Sep 6 this year.
Under the MOU, EDB will provide assistance and support to grow SJI International into one of the leading international schools in the region. SJI International will open in January 2007 with an initial enrolment of 150 students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (Secondary One to Three).
The new school aims to have a total enrolment of 1,200 students, with international students making up 50 percent of the total enrolment, local and PR students 25 percent, and students from expatriate families in Singapore 25 percent.
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Mr Mah, himself an old boy of SJI, said that the $3 million will fund open scholarships to bright students from Singapore and the region and will be available for the academic years 2007 and 2008.
Anthoni Salim, an SJI old boy too, tops the list of donors announced on Sep 27, with a $1 million pledge for scholarships for Singaporean and Indonesian students who wish to do Bahasa Indonesia as one of the courses of study. SJI International will create and build up a Salim-SJI International Centre for Indonesian Language and Culture.
A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology, and Research) will sponsor up to five regional students a year under its Young Researchers' Programme to study in SJI International. These students will enrol in SJI International from Grade 9 (Secondary Three) to Grade 12 (Pre-University Two) and will receive special mentoring in science research as part of their scholarship programme.
Other scholarship sponsors are United Overseas Bank, Keppel Corporation, Lippo Group, G-Steel Co. Ltd., PT Bimantara Citra Tbk, PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya, Java Energy Resources Pte Ltd, PT Renaissance Capital Asia, Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Ltd, and Natural Park Public Co. Ltd.
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SJI International hopes to rope in more international sponsors in the near future; the long term aim is to provide scholarships and financial assistance to at least 20 percent of its student population.
Brother Michael Broughton, Area Director De La Salle Brothers and Brother President of SJI International, explained, "Scholarships are important to our mission of educating students from different socio-economic backgrounds. We invite those who are keen to study in the diverse and challenging learning environment of an international school, to apply for the scholarships. For scholarship students from less well-to-do families, we will provide additional financial assistance based on assessed need. I want to assure them that we will look after their funding needs fully if they require help."
The $1 million pledged earlier by Leadership Council members is for 50 scholarships for outstanding SJI 'O' Level students to do the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma at SJI International. The first batch of Leadership Council scholars will be selected for admission in academic year 2008.
The Leadership Council scholarship programme "provides a link from SJI to SJI International", said Mr Mah, a Patron of the Leadership Council which was formed to provide support and advice for the starting of SJI International.
"More importantly, it provides opportunities to SJI boys who otherwise would not be able to pursue the IB diploma or attend an international school," he added.
Among the Leadership Council's other Patrons are Singapore Ministers George Yeo, Teo Chee Hean, and former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan. It's chairman is Philip Yeo, Chairman of A*STAR.
Interested students are requested to fill up and submit an application form available at the SJI International website (www.sjiinternational.com.sg).