Primary school student’s parents were fined S$9,000 for lying about their residential address in order to enrol their child into a popular school in the Bishan area.
The mother of the child was fined S$5,000 for lying about the family’s address to the vice-principal of the school, while her husband was fined S$4,000 for duping an officer at Serangoon Gardens Neighbourhood Police Post into changing the couple’s official addresses on their identity cards.
The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) states that a child who has successfully registered in a school based on false information will be transferred to another school, which has vacancies.
In this case, the child is still studying in the school in Bishan as the parents have 14 days to appeal against their sentence, should they desire to do so, the MOE told Channel NewsAsia.
Given the pressure parents feel trying to get their children into top Singapore schools, “breaking rules” to get any advantage is increasingly commonplace.
A property consultant Sylvester Lee, told the Strait Times, that he has been approached a number of times by parents looking to pay to get a false address for the enrolment of their children into a preferred school.
"I have said no every time I have got a request like this. The parents’ intention is to lease a place for the school to check. They were willing to pay a lot of money just for the address."
He added that some unreasonable parents were surprised and upset by his rejections.
One parent said he was not surprised that some parents were resorting to such drastic measures, but was critical of parents who choose this path. He said of the convicted couple:
"If they have to pay only $9,000 for a place in the school and their child isn't affected, that would be considered cheap. They should have to pay the consequences. It was not like they didn't know the risk they were taking."
Another parent said: "It is not right if you are teaching your children to lie. When they grow up, there could be a lack of trust between them and the parents."