SINGAPORE: The GCE O Level results of Whitley Secondary School students who did not attend a formal dinner last November, which has been described in some online comments as the school prom, will not be withheld, the school's principal said on Thursday (Jan 11).
Mrs Tay Yang Fern was responding to queries about a post on Reddit on Monday, in which a user known only as SqueakyArmChair asked for advice on behalf of his sister, who is a Secondary 5 student at the school.
The user said that his sister had been told her results would be withheld on Friday because of money owed to the school for not attending prom. The prom attendance fee was S$50, said the user, while those who did not attend had to cough up an additional S$60.
The user said his sister did not attend the dinner because she had already attended prom the previous year.
Mrs Tay said the formal dinner was part of a "student development programme for the graduating students, which comprises a course on grooming and etiquette skills for the Secondary 4 cohort, and interview and etiquette skills for the Secondary 5 cohort".
"The programme culminates in a formal dinner for students to practise their newly acquired skills," she said.
Channel NewsAsia understands that the total programme fee was S$110, but it was subsidised so that students needed only to pay S$50. Those who opted out in advance did not need to pay anything, but those who opted in, but did not turn up, were required to pay the S$60 subsidised by the school. The latter students would have already paid S$50 earlier via Edusave or with cash.
According to Mrs Tay, the school "acknowledged" that some Sec 5 students "perceived that they had not been given the option of not attending the dinner".
"The school will engage these students and their parents for an amicable agreement and necessary assistance will be extended in cases of financial hardship," she said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said "schools may withhold the certificates of students who have yet to pay their outstanding school fees after repeated reminders have been given".