Appeal for waiver of $76,000 bond payment for failing teaching course from Minister of education Mr Heng Swee Kiat

To: Mr Heng Swee Kiat
Minister for Education

Dear Sir,

I am appealing on behalf of Mr Zulfikli, who has written to us regarding MOE’s request for his daughter Zafirah Hamizah Bte Zulfikli to pay back a bond of $76,000 for failing her teaching course at NIE.

We also find the bond payback both ridiculous and unreasonable especially when hundreds of millions of taxpayer money is splashed on foreign students studying on scholarship here.

In the first place, it was MOE who had failed her and want her to leave the service and not the other way round – in what way has she actually rescinded on her bond?

As stated in the trainee contract “All trainee teachers have to sign the Teachers’ Training Agreement. If you break the bond, you will have to pay liquidated damages. The amount will be pro-rated based on the expenses incurred by the Government for your tuition fees and salaries during your NIE training. There is also a 10% compound interest.”

It’s clearly stated that if a trainee breaks the bond, they would have to pay the liquidated damages.

But this is not the case with Mr Zufikil’s daughter.

Mr Zulfikli’s daughter has failed her practicum twice and was asked to leave.

Isn’t it the duty of her supervisors and HOD to guide her through her weakness after the first failed practicum?

Moreover, if she failed, it reflects more on the failure of her mentors to guide her well than anything else!

MOE should take a closer look on why she failed and how well has she been coached by her teacher-in-charge, mentor, HOD and supervisors.

They are responsible for her to earn a pass and has a duty to ensure and guide her through her practicum adequately.

In any case, as she is not the one who chooses to leave the service but has been advised so, thus she is not breaking any bond as stated per the terms and conditions of her contract signed with MOE.

On behalf of Mr Zulfikli, who as a concerned father is worried for her daughter’s future, we hope that MOE would be kind enough to look into this matter and work out an amicable solution for all parties.

We await your decision on this matter please so that there is proper closure for the family.

Thanks & Warmest Regards,
Gilbert Goh

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