Singapore Indian Education Trust



The Singapore Indian Education Trust (SIET) is an Indian community trust fund that supports the education of local Indians, particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. It was set up in 1967 with trade unionist Govindasamy Kandasamy as one of its key founders.1 The Registrar of Societies approved SIET’s constitution on 7 July 1967.2

History
The SIET was established in the midst of tumultuous economic change among local Indians, brought on by the separation of Singapore from Malaya, and the imminent withdrawal of British forces upon whom the Indian community had heavily depended for employment. Realising the importance of education to the Indian community’s future success, activist Govindasamy Kandasamy gathered 12 volunteers to help set up a scholarship fund. The inaugural meeting at the Singapore Indian Association on 30 August 1966 included K. R. Chandra, later permanent secretary, and M. Bala Subramanion, director of postal services, and T. Selvaganapathy. It was initially known as the Indian Scholarship Trust Fund, with Kandasamy as its first chairman.3


On 31 December 1967, the trust had a total of S$3,297.10 in its funds. Its first awards were given out in April 1972. In 1995, a S$50,000 donation was made by the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, the first by a Chinese temple to the Indian trust.5 In 2017, the trust received funding from various scholarships funds, memorial trust funds, education funds, as well as donations from individuals and organisations.6

Awards
The SIET provides bursaries and interest free loans for studies up to the tertiary level. Special study awards are also available, mainly for tertiary education in key universities.7

In 2016, bursaries amounting to S$182,500 were distributed by the SIET to 155 students from the Institute of Technical Education, junior colleges, polytechnics and universities. To be eligible for a bursary, the student has to come from a low-income family with a per capita household income of S$650. In the same year, the trust also disbursed S$97,645 under the SIET study loan scheme to 19 students. Under the SINDA-SIET tertiary study loan scheme, an amount of S$443,627 was disbursed to 74 students. The SIET also administered 24 SINDA-SIET scholarships, a partnership between SINDA and several private educational institutions, for diploma and degree programmes to encourage students to pursue higher skills and educational qualifications.8



Author

Bonny Tan



References
1. Zuzanita Zakaria. (1999, January 15). Surge in demand for study awardsThe Straits Times, p. 59. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore Indian Education Trust. (2014). About SIET. Retrieved 2017, September 28 from Singapore Indian Education Trust website: http://www.siet-trust.org.sg/about/
2. Singapore Indian Education Trust: The first thirty years. Singapore: [s.n.], p. 15. (Call no.: RSING 371.22095957 SIN-[SRN])
3. Singapore Indian Education Trust. (2014). About SIET. Retrieved 2017, September 28 from Singapore Indian Education Trust website: http://www.siet-trust.org.sg/about/; Daniel, R. O. (2002). Singapore Indian Education Trust: The first thirty years. Singapore: [s.n.], p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 371.22095957 SIN-[SRN])
4. Singapore Indian Education Trust. (2014). About SIET. Retrieved 2017, September 28 from Singapore Indian Education Trust website: http://www.siet-trust.org.sg/about/; Daniel, R. O. (2002). Singapore Indian Education Trust: The first thirty years. Singapore: [s.n.], p. 22. (Call no.: RSING 371.22095957 SIN-[SRN])
5. Zuzanita Zakaria. (1999, January 15). Surge in demand for study awardsThe Straits Times, p. 59; Bhalla, S. T. (1995, February 16). Chinese temple helps Indian studentsThe Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Daniel, R. O. (2002). Singapore Indian Education Trust: The first thirty years. Singapore: [s.n.], p. 42. (Call no.: RSING 371.22095957 SIN-[SRN])
6. Singapore Indian Education Trust. (2017). Endowments. Retrieved 2017, September 28 from Singapore Indian Education Trust website: http://www.siet-trust.org.sg/endowments/; Zuzanita Zakaria. (1999, January 15). Surge in demand for study awardsThe Straits Times, p. 59. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
7. Zuzanita Zakaria. (1999, January 15). Surge in demand for study awardsThe Straits Times, p. 59. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Singapore Indian Education Trust. (2017, May 27). 2017 annual report. Retrieved 2017, September 28 from Singapore Indian Education Trust website: http://www.siet-trust.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SIET-ANNUAL-REPORT-2016.pdf



The information in this article is valid as at 2017 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Heritage and Culture
Indians (Asian people)--Educatiuon--Singapore
Education
Ethnic Communities
Politics and Government>>Education
Education--Singapore
Education>>Higher education>>Student aids and scholarships
Student aid--Singapore
Singapore Indian Education Trust