The Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) today (28 August) reminded eligible language teachers that the Professional Development Incentive Grant Scheme would continue to accept applications in the new school year to provide financial incentives for them to undertake programmes of study for attainment of the recommended qualifications.
A spokesman for SCOLAR said the scheme had received an overwhelming response from teachers since its launch in April 2004, and so SCOLAR had decided to allocate another $300 million from the Language Fund to increase the coverage of the scheme.
"As a result, we can support at least 10 000 additional language teachers for their professional development on top of the scheme's original intended coverage of 7 500, making the total number of beneficiaries 17 500," he added.
The Professional Development Incentive Grant Scheme for Language Teachers was launched by SCOLAR to encourage more serving language teachers, particularly those who possess neither a degree nor any teacher training in the relevant language subject, to upgrade their professional qualifications.
Upon completion of an approved programme of study, each successful applicant will be reimbursed 50% of the tuition fee up to a maximum of $30,000.
By August 2005, the scheme had already received more than 5 200 applications, which marked a nearly 200% increase since last year, and the amount of grant sought had already exceeded $156 million.
"The enthusiastic response of teachers shows that they are strongly dedicated to and passionate about the teaching profession," the spokesman said.
"The additional allocation to the scheme will help meet the expectation of teachers who are planning to upgrade their qualifications in the coming few years."
Potential applicants were reminded to submit their applications before or within 60 days from the commencement of their programme of study. For further information of the scheme, please visit the SCOLAR's website at http://www.language-education.com or contact the SCOLAR Support Unit at 3527 0180.
SCOLAR was established in 1996. It advises the Government on language education issues in general and the use of the Language Fund.