Appeal for education minister to waive off unpaid school fees and return result slip to students

(sent via email)

Dear Mr Ong Ye Kung
Minister for education

28 Nov 2019

Re: Withholding of examination result slip due to unpaid school fees

Thanks for your efforts in ensuring that all Singaporeans have a solid basic education free of the burden of having to pay school fees even though they are many who are trying to cope with the high cost of living here.

We also applaud the ministry for putting in place the laudable financial assistance scheme (FAS) which benefitted thousands of needy students each year complete with free uniform, meal coupon, free textbooks and free school fees. I am sure many students from adverse financial situation have benefitted from the welfare scheme.

However, it came to our attention that some students may fall through the crack when it comes to the application of FAS due to various unique reasons – incomplete filling of forms due to a missing family member, sudden loss of a breadwinner through retrenchment or just missing out on the FAS criteria mark of $2750 gross income per household or $690 per capita income.

Many also feel embarrassed to apply for financial assistance due to their ego and prefer to tough it out often worsening the problem for the innocent child.

We hope that the schools can be proactive on their part also to identify vulnerable students who have a prolonged accumulation of school fees for more than six months – its a sure sign of some trouble at the home front and perhaps the school counsellor can attend to such cases to nip it in the bud before the situation deteriorates further.

To simply expect the families to come forward and apply for financial assistance on their own accord may be beyond some families who are either lowly-educated or swamped with their own personal issues.

They need a gentle nudge, a loving compassionate touch to show that the school is also caring and reaching out than the current iinstitutional trend of coldness and aloofness when it comes to handling families living in poverty.

I also remembered how a school teacher came to my home to speak with my family as I was missing out on school alot. Her visit not only provided me the assurance that the school is a loving place but that humanity is also very much alive.

Mr Ong, I hope that you will agree with me that we need to change our approach in handling those who could not pay up their school fees as simply denying their original examination certificate is not the right solution to solve a longstanding problem.

Let us not tie the two issues together as it sends forth a mixed signal to the young child who feels that he is being marginalised and punished for his parent’s fault when he is being denied of the original result slip. It will also stir up anger and shame within the child who is still too young to comprehend the whole matter properly. Often, the child may feel that he is at fault lapsing into adverse emotional backlash or he may lay the blame squarely on his family which is also unhealthy.

Thus, we urge the ministry to consider waiving off these unpaid fees in a special compassionate goodwill gesture so that our needy children could finally receive their educational certificates.

If the ministry could not undertake this special waiver, we are willing to try our best through crowdfunding measure to pay for all the backlogged school fees over the years or even decades so that the original certificate can be returned to the rightful owner.

We want to work hand in hand with the ministry to resolve a complicated long-standing matter and hopefully we can groom children to be responsible and compassionate despite their family situation.

The reason why I am so passionate about this matter Mr Ong is because I too grew up in a very poor family environment and could not attend kindargarten sessions as we couldn’t pay the school fees then. Every morning, I would run to the school and peep in from outside the gate entrance gawking in envy at those who could attend the sessions.

From a very young age, I was also fostered out for a long ten years due to the fact that my parents have to work very long hours to make ends meet. I felt abandoned and could never understand why we have to leave our parents and stay with strangers.

My childhood experience has scarred me for life but it has also toughened me up alot as I always feel much for the underdogs and try to speak up for them whenever possible.

I am writing this with tears streaming down my cheeks as it is never easy to come to terms with any childhood scars often embedded deep within our memory and any healing is a life-long struggle.

So I plead with you again Mr Ong to reconsider the ministry’s decision to tie the withholding of a result certificate to unpaid school fees – it is not only cruel but psychologically damaging to any young child’s esteem.

I am also open to a face-to-face meeting with you so that we can discuss this matter openly and cordially.

Thank you so much for your hard work in the ministry. I wish you the very best ahead.

Yours sincerely,
Gilbert Goh

 

 

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29 Responses to “Appeal for education minister to waive off unpaid school fees and return result slip to students”

  • one pathetic soul:

    This kind of letter makes me think whether Gilbert is a stray & lost compass?

    It makes me wonder whether he is cream-pieing himself at the pretexts of others.

    ……… No, he can’t make it…… afraid maybe….

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  • Sinkie:

    Ong can waive off, or out of kindness pay for the poor student from his million-dollar pay packet . . .

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Gilbert; you are asking the minister to come down from their ivory tower! Please lah, the tower is very high you know, built far from the ground to avoid all those thing that the Ministers are trying to avoid.

    On the ground, Ministers have to see those seniors pushing trolley full of cardboards for “exercise”. Looking at homeless sleeping under bridges and void decks. Parents unable to pay school fee. How can you expect ministers to look at such things? It is the job of grassroots to paint a nice picture for them.

    In order for them to come down from the ivory tower, we need to demolish it buy voting them out.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Don’t expect these arrogant and self-serving money-grabbers to listen to your pleas. They feel good when they hear you beg and see you crawl.

    That goes for their servants and followers in the government departments.

    If you really want change – then be prepared to VTO.
    There is no other way to reclaim what is yours.

    Are you ready to do that for the children?

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  • DavidNeo&IreneVanessa:Bastards:

    Did Gilbert use the word plead?

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  • Asd:

    Non of the educator can just help and pay and close the issue but need to shame the child ? Need to be on tv big big show then can show charity ??

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  • I beg to differ:

    Actually the kid can work part time in fast food or other service industries during the holidays.
    I m quite sure one month or the most 2 months can clear.

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  • Asd:

    Can moe publish openly the public fund used to free loader the foreigner who did not fulfill the bond requirement where are these money now ? Can open up the book of public money owe by foreigner and how moe account these money to the tax payer ?

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  • No more begging, master!:

    Appeal = begging.
    Remember we voters are the masters and the ministers/civil servants are the servants.

    Order them. Not beg or appeal.

    Do this and this, or out you go!

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  • It's The End Already:

    Sinkies Need to plead to do the right thing?

    So money is more important than educating our future generations?

    Our own students are not even worth that hundred dollars compared with millions spent on foreigners?

    Our values now are greed and money? More important than giving or grace?

    When the world is abandoning autocracy and tyranny, stupid sinkies go at length to defend them?

    Can one expect these dumbos to vote the right ?

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  • George:

    Khaw BW and Tan CJ are penalising Singaporean children and causing damage, VOTE THEM OUT !

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  • INSIDE 200 is not within 200m:

    I beg to differ:
    Actually the kid can work part time in fast food or other service industries during the holidays.
    I m quite sure one month or the most 2 months can clear.

    psle lah, cock.

    means child is below 12 years old.

    you want 12 years old to work for wage?

    where is your cock heart?

    lost inside pap clan S$m heartless mess?

    truly WTF kind of humans in a small island of 70% sheep ruled by S$m thieving gang of pap folks.

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  • Pioneer:

    Hi, Uncle Gilbert, no need to beg this $$$millions politician to change. He would feel demoralised or a ashamed as a ministar who needed someone (ordinary citizen)to point out to him a bad practice, and then he is therefore not fit to collect the rooftop salaries.

    Foreign students are well-taken care of. They built the NUS University Town (Dover Rd) with with comfortable lodgings come with all the amenities for them to stay & use in SG whilst they study. $$$millions and millions spent to accommodate many of them. Remember, there are reports that we have hundreds of elderly who are homeless sleeping in void decks, parks, under bridges, etc.

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  • I beg to differ:

    No big deal.

    I know hawkers where their kids also help out at their stalls. Go AMK ave 10 hawker stalls u see a few. Of course not very labour intensive type of work. Taking orders , delivering foods , collecting payments. They dont even have to wash dishes. During late 70s and until mid 80s , we young we have to do that.

    No difference, we see school children appealing for donation and they give u a sticker and thats several hours if not full day.

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  • most uselss:

    To PAP, money is everything.

    FT is is number 1.

    Winning is key to all these bs policies.

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  • Collective Responsibility:

    Hi Gilbert,

    Futile effort. Good try though. But really, there is no need to beg. We, Singaporeans have come a very long way to build this society and put in place comfortable positions of power, prestige, status, money and dignity for these instant millionaire ministers to enjoy. Singapore is not a Monarchy ruled by kings and queens. The duties and responsibilities of those politicians sitting on the very top are to serve us, the citizens and voters. They should beg us, not we beg them.

    You have the right to tell the millionaire minister that paying him by the millions of dollars, out of this world’s salary, plus bonuses and perks, is for him to work for us, not to lord over the small kids in school over their parents’ inabilities or defaults.

    If the form teacher did not help, the principal did not bother to send someone to the home to investigate, the ministry had used underhanded tactic and declared that it is a matter of principle and a long-standing practice, then all of us, Singaporeans, must open our eyes wide wide and shake our heads so hard that we can wake up and realised that the state of affairs has gone too far.

    Your noble, honourable and well-meaning action, Gilbert, is too little too late for those high almighty giants. One Goliath like you is not enough to bring down those callous hardened giants living in the high mountains above cloud nine. We need many many, much much more, Goliath’s to bring these monsters down!

    We need to awaken the masses. Not awaken the monsters!

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  • WakeupSG:

    I am prepared to “lend” the total amount owing to pay the outstanding school fees. There is no deadline to settle the loan without interest.

    Just let me know how to do it.

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  • Please change policy:

    Should change the policy.
    No need to punish the child for the parent shortcoming.
    let’s be a more gracious society. Waive the outstanding fees for hardship cases.

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  • Bapak:

    Singapore under the scholars under the PaPIG is very efficient,
    - to prevent vandalism ban chewing gums & lock up fire hose-reel,
    - to prevent water theft shut off fire hose water,
    - to collect back dated school fee, hold back original results slip.
    You are held ransom by PaPIGs scholar.

    Do continue voting them if you like it this way. Just hope that one day your children wont give you a tight slap.

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  • Attention Seeker Gilbert:

    one pathetic soul:
    This kind of letter makes me think whether Gilbert is a stray & lost compass?

    It makes me wonder whether he is cream-pieing himself at the pretexts of others.
    ……… No, he can’t make it…… afraid maybe….

    Yes, Gilbert is an opportunist and attention seeker.

    Gilbert has no minister materials but just exploit situation like that.

    He exploit the poor’s misfortune to propel himself to be an human right champion.

    It is despicable to exploit the poor misfortune.

    PAP.Guaranteed.Win.GE2020

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  • trublu:

    WHY SCREW OUR OWN POOR STUDENTS AT ALL?
    if no more ‘money’,then CUT DOWN ON FT-SCHOLARSHITS and re-allocate back to sgs,it is that simple,ya?

    no increase in budget,just re-allocation mah.
    cannot meh???????????????????????????????

    i shake head ,shake head….

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  • ceca ah nehs and pinoys:

    WakeupSG:
    I am prepared to “lend” the total amount owing to pay the outstanding school fees. There is no deadline to settle the loan without interest.

    Just let me know how to do it.

    Thank You, bro. Good job. There are many out there also intending the same.

    Despite all the S$m money grabbing mindset of pap, it is heartening not every human is the same as these money seared pap folks.

    Merry Christmas to you. Thank You once again.

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  • ceca ah nehs and pinoys:

    Attention Seeker Gilbert: Yes, Gilbert is an opportunist and attention seeker.

    Gilbert has no minister materials but just exploit situation like that.

    He exploit the poor’s misfortune to propel himself to be an human right champion.

    It is despicable to exploit the poor misfortune.

    PAP.Guaranteed.Win.GE2020

    there is a difference.

    Gilbert, say all you want, has helped the child in distress. HELPED. in case your england is as bad as pap chan chung sing the kee chiu bugs bunny, HELPED is a past participal in the perfect mood meaning completed action.

    on the other hand, those hoping pap to win GE2020 all talk only without actually lifting a single finger and when souls such as Gilbert truly doing the lifting bad mouth only.

    who is the better human despite all the weaknesses? of course, Gilbert.

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  • Do your duty:

    $m ministars have gone from bad to worse.

    It’s appalling and astounding that ah ong has blatantly chose to remain deafeningly silent when our children from under privileged families have been subjected to humiliation and ‘ransom’ from unethical policy.

    Wake up your ideas!

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  • 習禁評:

    子若强于我,要钱做什么;子若不如我,留钱做什么.

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  • Gilbert Come:

    Open Letter To:

    Dear Mr Ong Ye Kung
    Minister for education

    3 December, 2019

    Re: Withholding of Examination Result Slip due to Unpaid Primary School Miscellaneous Fees

    Let the loan sharks educate your staff in the Ministry for Education. They only go after the adults who owed them money but failed to pay back. They don’t go after the kids, especially those below the age of 16.

    Learn from the loan sharks.

    If this sickening practice by MOE is not stopped from now on, all of you at the MOE are worse than loan sharks.

    Yours truthfully,

    Flabbergasted Citizen.

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  • Have a heart for countrymen:

    Today a PLP Pig chili Poh wrote to shit times that parents should be blamed.

    Hello Minitry of Evilpeople are faceless and merciless. They have no feelingor rmpath for the youngs,

    This auntie should be immediately admitted to imh for long standing monitoring.

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  • Undeserving $Million Salary:

    From this crude, rude, irresponsible, unethical, unthinkable “long-standing practice” of the MOE, it is clear to the whole world that there is not even a single person who is EDUCATED at MOE. This is a great shame to Singapore, that keep boasting to the word how outstanding Singapore leaders are. They just don’t deserve the $millions they are paid every year!

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  • pap ong yee kung vanished?:

    pap ong yee kung is an Aljunied reject.

    REJECTED by Aljunied heroes.

    if he stood again in Aljunied, he would be rejected again.

    he s*ake. he went elsewhere. and pap incest made him education minister.

    but look at the S$156 saga. how much is pap ong yee kung the Aljunied reject paid by taxpayers? S$m.

    how many times is S$m over S$156?

    how come torture a down and out child when ownself not only S$m but eating out of the hands of child’s parents taxes?

    worst, no sound no fury. maybe busy spending S$m in swiss land skiing or in france cooking course.

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