SINGAPORE: The parents of a primary school student were fined S$9,000 on Monday (Jan 29) for lying about their residential address in order to enrol their child into a popular school in the Bishan area.
The child’s mother, 36, was fined S$5,000 for lying about the family’s address to the vice-principal of the school. Her husband, 38, 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 parents cannot be named to protect the child’s identity.
In 2014, the parents of the child, who was then five, paid a visit to their neighbourhood police post to change their registered address to one in the Bishan area. The family in fact lived in a bungalow in Serangoon Gardens.
The following year, the mother used the fake address to register her child for Primary 1 at a school in Bishan, under Phase 2C of the registration exercise. Families living within one kilometre of a school are given priority.
The school’s vice-principal accepted the application, and the child was given a place in the school. In January 2016, the month the child started Primary 1, the vice-principal realised that the mother had lied about her home address and lodged a police report.
According to Ministry of Education (MOE) rules, a child who was successfully registered in a school based on false information will be transferred to another school with available vacancies.
In this particular case, however, the child is still studying in the school in Bishan as the parents have 14 days to appeal against their sentence should they require, MOE told Channel NewsAsia in response to queries.
"MOE will decide on the best course of action for the child at a later stage. In the meantime, the school will continue to care for and ensure the well-being of the student," the ministry said.
It added that it views the use of false addresses during the Primary 1 Registration Exercise as a serious matter, and will refer any suspected cases to the police.
There have been fewer than 10 reported cases in the last 10 years, said MOE.
For lying to the vice-principal, a public servant, the mother could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to S$5,000.
As for the father, who was convicted of one count of giving a false address under the National Registration Act, he could have been jailed for up to five years and/or fined up to S$5,000.