Educators and parents have, not surprisingly, applauded the move by the Education Ministry to provide more aid for needy students.

MOE will this year provide $44.4 million in financial assistance to students - more than twice the amount last year.

Jeremy Kohhas more.

Secondary Two student from Jurong West Secondary, Hemamalani, is an MOE Financial Assistance Scheme recipient.

She is also a recipient of the MOE Edusave Award (Scholarship).

With such aid, she is able to purchase a computer.

In addition, she's also receiving free textbooks.

Her father K. Rajasegaran, a contractor, says the family is very thankful for the financial aid received.

" The job also not much. I got no overtime, just my pay only so i bring back home 1,300, after CPF 1,200, very very difficult to survive. I'm very thankful for the financial assistance."

And on the move by MOE to provide more aid for needy students .

"For low-income people like us, very helpful. Right now everyday the school money also very difficult to give them - three dollars a day for children, sometimes i want to give also very difficult."

And indeed many schools are expecting an increase in the number of people seeking financial assistance this year, due to the economic crisis.

At Teck Ghee Primary School for example, the number of parents seeking help has gone up.

And it's expecting more in the months ahead.

And so, MOE's move to provide more aid to the needy students is timely, as teacher at the school, Ng Peng Hock, explains.

"If their basic needs are not taken care of, then no matter how good your programmes are, it's not easy for children to concentrate with empty stomach or when their home don't have enough food."

Chua Lek Hong, the vice-principal of Jurong Junior College, says his school is doubling its needy student fund in anticipation of a surge in the number of applicants.

And in dollar terms, that's $60,000 for this year, as opposed to $30,000 for last year.

As such, he sees MOE's move as handy.

"This amount of assistance will definitely help these students pay for their daily allowance in terms of meals during their breaks. And also, they are not receiving uniforms and textbooks from the school, so this extra funding will help them in this area."