Alejandro and Christine Uy Tan flew to Singapore to meet me in January 2002. They were recommended by a business friend. They visited my home and I brought them round to see some of our secondary schools and nearby neighbourhoods in Singapore. Andy told me he was sending his wife and 4 children to live in Singapore because of security reasons back in the Philippines. Andy is a pig farmer who also 'dabbles' in real estate.
I explained to them in detail the procedures and requirements of applying to the government schools here. They were given the information leaflet on the admission of foreign students to Government and Government-aided schools in Singapore. They were also told which level each of the 4 kids were going as they had each taken my own Assessment Tests. At the meeting, there was no mention of letting their kids live with me.
End of April, I met up with the Tan family when I went to Manila. I was told they were sending their eldest boy first because their grandmother disapproved of their sending the boys overseas. On 3rd May, the couple and their two elder sons came to Singapore. Only the eldest son, Jonas stayed on.
Andy claimed to lost US$10,000 at the Manila Airport. Thus he didn't make any payment for my services, the accommodation or the school fees. Out of sympathy, I paid for Jonas' school fees and miscellaneous expenses first while waiting 3 weeks (It only required 3 days for funds to be TT from Manila to Singapore!) for Andy to send money over. Unknown to me, he was trying out if Jonas could get accustomed to the life here. If it didn't, he could just pull out.
Andy and Christine never trusted me fully. They were very careful. After giving them the information they asked for, they would check with their friends, friends of friends ..... anyone who knows something about Singapore. I was very cautious whenever I answered their queries, knowing they would clarify or check with someone.
Then the younger son David came over in June to prepare for the entrance tests. Besides attending lessons at a language centre, the brothers had Mandarin, Maths, Science and English language tuition at home. They took the the IQ Test and entrance tests at 5 secondary schools and failed all of them.
Both boys were students of Xavier High School , a popular school for the rich and influential in Manila. MOE also recruits scholars from this school which charges up to US$3000 per annum school fees. You need to be somebody to be able to have your sons study here.
Well, the boys were accepted by Bedok North Secondary School by the Vice-principal Mrs Kong Chai Eng, although they failed their entrance tests. For a donation of S$5000 each. Another 2 China students Deng Li and Zhang Leixin paid S$10,000 each, both their English language scores were below 25%. Scores were altered to attain a 50% pass. Both were admitted to Express stream. David and Zhang Leixin were accepted for Secondary 1 Express classes even before the PSLE secondary school posting was out. They were asked to report to school on 6th January 2003 to avoid suspicion. :)
Will the Singapore educators do such things for our own local students?
As a Singaporean, would you give donations to get a place for your children in your preferred school?
...... to be continued