Twin boys Aqif and Aqil were not able to collect their Normal Level (N-Level) examination certificates because of unpaid school fees and they weren’t the only ones facing this problem.
In a Facebook post yesterday (Nov 26), social activist Gilbert Goh shared instances of many others, along with Aqil and Aqif. Goh wrote that the twins were “hit with a pay-first ultimatum by MOE or else their exam result will be withheld”.
The mother of the boys is a single-parent who, as TISG understands through Gilbert, has been working part-time since April, making a monthly salary of only S$600 to S$800. Both boys have an unpaid school fee balance of S$310 each and their mother said that the boys’ father did not provide information necessary for them to complete their application for the Ministry of Education’s Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS).
In response to queries, the mother said, “They (her sons) are excited waiting (for) N level result but at the same time worry they can’t get through (into) ITE or polytechnic because of the certificate”.
She added that her sons also are “working part-time as Kitchen cleaner about 1 time a week”. (sic)
When asked if she tried to seek assistance, she explained that her application for financial assistance was rejected because the boys’ father’s details were needed, but he refused to furnish the family with the necessary information.
Through assistance from Gilbert Goh, president of the Transitioning – Unemployment Support Service non-profit group, they announced “that their school fees are paid up in full by two kind-hearted Samaritans so they can receive their results with full confidence!”
In a reply to media queries, where Goh shared the story of another student, MOE noted that the decision to withhold the original copy of that student’s Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results slip was due to unpaid school fees and not motivated by the aim of “recovering the money”.
“The withholding of PSLE original results slips due to school fee arrears has been a long-standing practice,” said MOE.
The twins will receive their N-Level results in December this year.
TISG has reached out to MOE for further clarification on the matter. /TISG