Tuition classes may be a chore to many children, but for 15 pupils, lessons at MindChamps are a privilege.

They were the first recipients of a scholarship that the local education company gave out last year.

The scholarship is named after Mrs Carmee Lim, former principal of Raffles Girls' School (Secondary), who is mentor principal of MindChamps.

It was given to needy students in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and the Central Singapore District preparing for the PSLE. The scholarships came up to $250,000 in total and were fully funded by MindChamps.

From December last year to this year, the recipients took part in MindChamps' programmes. But seven later dropped out. The eight who sat the PSLE all passed the exams.



Their parents also attended training sessions in exam strategies.

Madam Siti Athikah Abdul Rahman, 32, said her daughter's grades improved after going for English, mathematics and science classes at MindChamps this year.

Her 12-year-old daughter, Wan Nurul Aqilah Abdullah, who was from CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh), did well enough to get into the Express stream at CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) next year.

"We're very happy because we didn't expect her to do so well . Our aim was to get (her) into Express," said Madam Siti, a junior executive in an insurance claims company.

"She also liked going for the classes maybe because of the friends she made there," said the mother of four.

Another parent, Mr Suyatno Sayano, said the classes helped his 12-year-old son in his studies.

"I don't have time to teach my children because I'm working every day and even during holidays," said the 52-year-old, who works as a security guard at a condominium.

His son, Suhardi Adi Putera Suyatno, who was from First Toa Payoh Primary School, had been attending classes run by self-help group Mendaki, but switched to MindChamps this year after receiving the scholarship. "It's good that he has tuition because the last time, his mathematics and English grades were not very good, but now he told me he passed the PSLE," said Mr Suyatno, who has three children.

"I'm very happy that he can study on his own, take the bus himself and can go to secondary school."