The Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung responded in an email on Wednesday (Dec 18) to Terence Tan, the author of a petition to stop the withholding of examination results slips due to unpaid school fees. Mr. Ong said that he plans to respond in parliament next year.
In his email to Tan, Mr. Ong wrote: “First, I do not agree with views expressed by some that our schools or teachers are uncaring and unfeeling”. He continued: “On the contrary, schools and teachers are on the frontline doing their utmost and often going out of their way to help students from vulnerable backgrounds”.
“Second, I also hold a different view from those who think applying for financial assistance is difficult and demeaning”, he added.
Terence, author of the petition told TISG that he personally felt for the children who had their results slips held back as he had been in similar situations before with parents who were not so well-off.
He felt the need to take away the policy of withholding results slips in the event of non-payment of school fees. “The children are different from their parents”, he said.
“Let the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) deal with the parents’ financial situations, while the Ministry of Education focuses on the children”, he said.
However, through speaking to many people, Mr. Ong said that he gleaned: “I also do not have the sense that the children who did not get the original results slip were humiliated”.
Adding that he plans to provide his response in parliament next year, Mr. Ong stated that it is necessary to question if the practice of withholding results slips works at all.
Read the full letter to Minister Ong here. /TISG