Friday, June 08, 2007

Calm before the Storm

It is sad for me to reveal the bad things happening in our civil service. I could have just taken my son away from here and live happily ever after. What happens to the rest of you is not my business. I see many of you slogging to feed your family, pay your bills and sparing no expenses to give your children a good education. You are the good, obedient citizens who don't know your rights and benefits are being given away ............

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Andy initially wanted his wife Christine and his girls to come over to Singapore in June but changed it to October. Then to January 2003 when he heard me mentioned that primary schools would still conduct entrance tests during the school term. It was all well calculated, mainly to save money. But I warned him that he would be taking a risk as the schools conduct entrance tests based on availablility of vacancies.


In October 2002, when I met up with Andy, he told me he took the girls out of ICA, which is a well-known girls' school for the rich and influential in Manila. Christine was tutoring them using the assessment books which they had bought in Singapore. Cindy was preparing for Primary 2 and Kimberly was preparing for Primary 5.


Andy wanted me to schedule the entrance tests with several primary schools within a week in November. He would fly the girls in, take the tests and return to Manila to wait for results. Should they be accepted, I would help with the processing of their student passes. The girls would return to Singapore to commence school in January 2003.


A few days before his arrival, I called him to say I couldn't arrange entrance tests for his daughters as the schools didn't have vacancies. I suggested Cindy come to Singapore with Mom while Kimberly stay in Manila to complete her Grade 6 as her final semester exam is in March. By continuing her studies for another 2-3 months, she would be able to sit for Secondary 1 entrance test. My suggestion was turned down because 'Kimberly has told her classmates she is going to Singapore to study. It would be embarrassing if she returns to ICA to face her classmates and teachers again.'


Andy then suggested falsifying the report card by filling in the girls' final semester results. That on Kimberly's report card was left blank because she left ICA after the first semester. Andy told me he knew someone working in ICA, by giving her a small amount of money, he could have the school stamp on the report card. He added he could forge the principal's signature. I was horrified to hear that and reminded him that the Singapore Government takes fraud very seriously. Well, I thought it did then.

They wanted top schools. At that time, there was this CQT (Centralised Qualifying Test) which qualified candidates for the top 30 schools in Singapore. All their kids failed so they had to settle for heartland schools. We found schools for them but they turned them all down. Then they tried to find their own schools. I think at that time, they had it all planned out.

They went to Bedok North Secondary School to see Mrs Kong. Kimberly was accepted into Secondary 1 Express. I couldn't believe my ears! She had only Primary 5 standard. The first thought that crossed my mind was 'Has MOE set new rules?' Next, did Andy falsify his daughter's report card?

Immediately, my husband called Yvonne Tan, the Operations Manager of BNSS. He notified her of Kimberly's qualification before they processed the Letter of Acceptance. Yvonne said,"The school has the right to decide who to accept for students." Kimberly attended school on 4th February 2003.

Kimberly was elated and called all her friends in Manila that she got into a secondary school. I then received a call from Manila from a father who wanted me to get his son into Secondary 1 Express, just like Kimberly. His son was in Grade 5 too and he was eager to send his son over immediately. I turned him down because this could not be happening.

I sent an email to MOE.

28 comments:

  1. Primary 5 to Secondary 1? And nobody blew the whistle 2 years ago?

    ReplyDelete
  2. brennan,
    I did. And was silenced.

    It was a bloody good experience for me. I didn't know how powerful the MOE is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dumbfound by the actions of the parents and the school. :o

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow..! ridiculous..!! sure they have the right to accept whatever student.. but knowing that they were not up to standard..?? you know.. ECL.. when i was in school.. even the bloody teachers favoured the foreign students..! prolly gave them gifts too.. i guess..??

    ReplyDelete
  5. wokking mum,
    Yah, 傻眼!

    错得那么理直气壮!

    Money is all that matters.

    ReplyDelete
  6. mamabok,
    That was my reaction to the school's reply too.

    I may be recruiting foreign students to study in Singapore, but I follow the rules and regulations. Where's there's none, I use my common sense.

    All my foreign students were told of our strict governance. Only to be slapped on the face by the irony of it. cheh!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wah... these few days like reading drama like that. And you always pause at the MOST EXCITING PART!

    ReplyDelete
  8. dk,
    Drama? Too long already, have to cut it short. Read my book more detailed. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. My Goodness! I find that hard to believe it. I mean, I could understand that bribery does exist in Philippines, all the time. But hard to believe that it happens in Singapore as well!

    ReplyDelete
  10. wind,
    The civil servants are also human beings. Singapore is not immuned to all every thing.

    See, Singapore has got such a good reputation but underneath it, it stinks too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. what a pity...It makes me feel like my PSLE certificate is just another piece of toilet paper..

    I've got to say Ive seen this before...Was in ACS and whilst some foreign students were good, there were some horrific ones..

    ReplyDelete
  12. When is your book going to be published?

    Ah, the Storm. It reminds me of a movement from Beethoven's 6th symphony. Waiting for the storm to come, and be cleared.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What happens next? I can't wait... this is getting exciting.

    But on the other hand, how can the schools compromise their principles and accept this sort of educationally inept students? *shakes head* And I thought Singapore prided itself on the schooling system.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Common sense is a good reason, ECL. Officialdom doesn't have a lot of that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jon,
    Yes, I wonder why our primary school children have to slog for their PSLE every year when they didn't need to complete Primary School standard to get into Secondary 1 Express.

    ACS(I) is well-known among the foreigners for accepting donations to get in. Lots of Indonesians.

    ReplyDelete
  16. oceanskies,
    It will be available 6 months before the next Election. For obvious reason.

    ReplyDelete
  17. rinnah,
    Precisely, I would say our former Educators did a good job of putting our Singapore Education system on the world map. But the latter educators were too engrossed in getting higher rankings, claiming credit and getting that elusive promotion. They lost their human side. They forgot that they are supposed to serve the public and not themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  18. arzhou,
    Many Singaporeans are not surprised but no one dare to speak openly about it.

    Let's see how they are going to deal with me. Will I be silenced forever? Interesting. 

    ReplyDelete
  19. Captain Picard,
    Yes, it's very sad. Common sense doesn't exist in Officialdom.

    ReplyDelete
  20. yenjai,
    I really hit me very, very bad. I had to see a psychiatrist.

    I will write about the years of Hell I had to go through after that. The most difficult years of my life.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your stories were so dramatic, it will be a best seller, director Neo be interested in it?http://henryleongblog.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  22. henry,
    No, he won't. I don't intend to sell my stories.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kinda kelong isnt it?

    Money sure makes the world go round and round and round.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Paddy,
    Yes. Money and Power make people do crazy things.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your blog is so exciting... LOL! I am so totally thrilled.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ed,
    You know how the civil service operates.

    There are more horror tales. :)

    ReplyDelete

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