Thursday, June 28, 2007

Go and don't come back!!

First semester ended on 26th May. Xiaoran had been in Singapore for more than a year, thousands of kilometres away from home and her beloved. It was not only her first trip abroad but also her first time away from her parents. As her grandfather was not well, he had just had a heart bypass, she was eager to go home.

I booked her air-ticket for 22nd May and she left that day. I had written a letter earlier, for her to give to Ms Loh but discovered later that she didn't because she was too terrified. Why? Because a few days before she left for home, Ms Loh had asked the class which foreign student was going home earlier. Xiaoran raised her hand and she was told,"Go and don't come back." Do I hear a threat?

Xiaoran told me Ms Loh didn't allow her to go back earlier, I assured her that it was nothing to worry about. I then wrote the letter asking the teacher for permission to leave earlier. But Ms Loh had instilled such great fear in Xiaoran that she had decided when she leave, never to return to Singapore.

On 26th May morning, my hubby went to school to get Xiaoran's report book. Ms Loh refused to hand it over, citing the reason Xiaoran had left school without permission. She refused to acknowledge that my hubby was the legal guardian of the child. She insisted she wanted to see the child's parents. My husband tried to talk to the Principal but couldn't locate him.

Xiaoran returned to Singapore at the insistence of her father. He had spent a large sum of money in sending her to study in Singapore. Xiaoran went to school on 26th June but cried everyday for 2 whole weeks. She called her parents several times a day, begging to return to China. Ms Loh had picked on her daily since her return from China. She kept asking to see her parents.

At that time, for Chinese nationals to travel out of China, they needed to go to Beijing to process their visa and placed a sum of money as collateral. It was a hassle. Besides there were us, the legal guardians.

Xiaoran's parents were here in February for the Chinese New Year holidays. They brought gifts for the teachers and met most of them. Ms Loh gave them a cold reception. The father later remarked that the form teacher was so stuck-up and seemed to look down on Chinese nationals.

Ms Loh refused to talk to us, insisting the parents fly over to see her. She constantly harassed my ward on this, bringing this matter up every now and then. Attempts to see the Principal came to nought because he was always not around. He is famous for his disappearing acts. My husband wrote him a letter, but no reply came from him. When my husband finally saw him, he tried to make excuses and cover up for the teacher and himself. He considered us nuisance and tried to avoid us.

......../Page 3


  1. When teachers' salaries are raised, there are two categories of teachers they will attract.

    1. Aspiring teachers whom now have one more additional reason to join the cohort of educational program, other than just passion.

    2. Teachers who are in their jobs only because of the high salaries.

    I had a very good form teacher fortunately, Mr Joseph Ng from Fuchun Sec School. He left school to pursue his higher degree overseas, and I was shocked he called my house from overseas just to ask about my second attempt of my O Levels even though he's "out of the liability" to.

  2. This sounds like a horrific situation....So unfair to your Ward abnd to you and your husband AND your Ward's parents! This sounds like terrible terrible racism...! I'm so very sorry....

    I thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your LOVELY Birthday Wishes! Your words are very much appreciated!

  3. Ohhhhh....geram nye...Feels like thwacking this Ms Loh and the principal...Arrrghhhh...

  4. This is really terrible..!
    I wanna see how Ms Loh can defend herself..?? and her actions..!

  5. Ed,
    There are teachers who once were passionate about their jobs, but whatever passion they had then are eroded by the amount of workload and responsibilities heaped onto them by result crazy principals. Then there are also those who go into class, blah blah blah and can't be bothered types.

    My teachers during my time were more caring. For my son's teachers, I can count them only with one hand.

  6. Hi oldold ladyof the hills,
    Happy Birthday, dearie!!!

    awww.... you have to read such a post on your happy day.

  7. eve,
    Yes, I was too timid then. I kept quiet that's why she was able to bully my ward. Even the principal wasn't helpful.

    I should be whacked too.
    *hangs head in shame*

  8. i'm not a blogger but a blog surfer, i love to "blogsurf". i'm here via and has been reading your blog for more than a month and this is my first reply.

    it in respect to the racism comment, it is indeed sad that there are racism and discrimination everywhere in singapore.

    just observe the way some singaporean look at those chinese, bangla or indian. shame!

  9. Poor Xiaoran! She has been robbed of the opportunity of an innocent childhood..

  10. Hi there, from the educator's standpoint, I believe that (if whatever you've been saying is true and without prejudice) your ward has been mistreated not only by her form teacher but also the school.

    If your ward has the option of switching schools, might I recommend Ping Yi Secondary School? They have always welcomed foreign students and will strive to cater for them regardless of age or nationality. I've heard of many success stories from that school. I think you should really reconsider since it is also near where you live. If not, your ward would really be wasting her time there.

  11. lb,
    She saw the ugly side of the adult world and had the first taste of helplessness.

  12. It's one thing to be racist, it's another to be unprofessional. It's sad when racism gets in the way of professionalism.

    If you think just because you're a teacher then don't need to be professional, please consider another job. One which preferably doesn't require meeting people.

    Respect is earned, not demanded - even if you're a teacher. Shame on you, Ms Loh!

  13. Its really sad to see teachers, who are suppose to be educators of the future generation act like that. I guess one can only be THAT idealistic about life.

    But I believe that cases like Ms Loh are not the majority (at least i HOPE so!). I think my experience with teachers during my schooling days had always been rather positive.

  14. Can't she change the school? Is she the only student who has this kind of treatment?

  15. arzhou,
    You are the lucky student. I have seen a few teachers who are this extreme.

  16. Windy,
    It is a hassle to change school, besides there was no vacancy in other schools. And MOE didn't want to be involved.

    Practically the whole class was frightened of her.

  17. my goodness, what sort of school is this?! couldn't Xiaoran attend another school that's more excepting and less harsh towards foreign students? or just one without the likes of Ms. Loh and the awful Principal? how unfortunate...

  18. Yes, May.
    The father had already donated a sum of money to the school. Finding another school means have to prepare another sum of money.

    Besides, it was a problem created by the form teacher, so the Principal or MOE was to handle it.

    Damned, I should have brought my chopper.

    Never mind, next time I will not forget. I'm taking matters into my own hands from now on.

  19. Would it not be possible for Xiaoran to transfer to another school which has more compassion for an oversease student?
    If she is a fee paying student, why should she put up with such threats from her teacher?
    I don't understand. With no pupils, no school fees, this teacher will be without a good pay job.
    When my kids were in a private school, parents have a lot of say but at the same time co-operation between teachers, parents and pupils were top priority. If a teacher ever talked to a child or parent the way this teacher did to Xiaoran and your husband, the teacher would soon be disciplined.

  20. dr ve thru,
    er.... it doesn't work this way in Singapore nowadays. Teachers or I should say the staff are 'protected' in MOE.

    Like in this case, MOE received the letter but didn't want to do an investigation, leaving it to the principal to deal with us. And of course 'no thief would admit he stole', right? So you see the wayang and the continued bullying.

    This is a government school. So there is nothing you can do. Ordinary citizens are so helpless and hopeless.

  21. ECL, do take care when you type. Just a slight typo can transform Miss Loh into Miss Loi. Later I receive hate mails!

  22. hehehe.... Miss Loh, I mean Miss Loi,

    Readers are not that foolish lah, they know you don't teach in a school mah.

    I'm sure you are not liddat, I see you have quite a number of students. :)