MOE has come under fire recently when it was revealed that they had withheld a student’s original PSLE result slip, just because the student’s family could not pay up to two years of her school fees. MOE’s explanation that the child would still be able to apply for secondary schools without the original copy of the PSLE result, while also stating that this was done not because of MOE was no about recovering the money, was slammed by netiznes, indicating that MOE should have done more to help, instead of making things more difficult.
However, it has since came to light that MOE is not the only education administrators who withhold certificates or results slips, just because a student faced real issues in paying their school fees. WP politician Yee Jenn Jong has also revealed that he handled a similar case a few years back, when he was helping out at an MPS in Aljunied. He stated that he was approached by a distressed student who feared that she would not be able to apply for third year courses since her school withheld the original results slip due to outstanding fees.
He managed to help out this student, as thankfully, he knew someone at the Polytechnic that the girl was studying at, and the person he knew was able to arrange a meeting between the girl, Yee Jenn Jong and the school’s finance manager. The girl, it turns out, had financial issues which should have been obvious when she failed to pay her school fees, as her mother was the only one providing for her family, and she had got by as the aunt had been the one who paid for her school fees in the first year. However, the aunt was not able to help out for the second year school fees, which resulted in the girl not able to pay, and worried that she might be kicked out of the Polytechnic.
What the two above cases shows is that education administrators, no matter what statements they put out to counter the narratives, base their decisions heavily on whether fees are paid. If fees are not paid, then the students faces real problems of not getting their results, and even being kicked out of school. Shouldn’t the fact that students could not pay school fees raise a red flag at the schools that these students face real financial problems, and they should be helped instead of being ostracized?