Dear Singapore Uncensored,
I am writing in to share my experiences with a childcare centre in hope that other parents do not have to suffer like me.
My kids are enrolled with the CET Paya Lebar branch at Learning Vision. I’ve always find that they have a manpower issue and feedback to the Principal on a few occasions but it has never been addressed. During morning assemblies, there are only 2 teachers onsite, one to do the temperature taking and health checks, the other to watch over the entire assembly of children. How is that sufficient?
Late last year, I was at the school one evening to pick my children up when I saw brown stains on my younger child’s cheeks, arms and clothes. Upon closer inspection, I realised these were poo stains. I checked his diapers and it was full of poop too. When I checked with the teacher, she claimed that child was too active and she couldn’t stop him from moving when she was cleaning him up from the previous round, and that she didn’t notice his diaper is still soiled. She was very defensive and hollered at me. After this whole outburst, another teacher who witnessed the incident came over to apologize for her colleague’s behaviour, citing insomnia and work stress as the rationale for her inappropriate behaviour. If everyone used that as an excuse, our kids will be in danger in their hands!
The Principal took 3 weeks to respond to my email on this issue. At the same time, the headquarters announced a price revision for the school fees (i.e. increase) and I was telling the Principal that the level of service doesn’t justify the price hike. In an attempt to pacify me, she said she would check with HQ if they can waive off the increase for me (sounds incredulous for a franchisee???). Few weeks later, she denied having said any of these and was extremely rude in our interactions. Excuse me? She brought up the suggestion, not me!
My children’s class had 3 occasions of HFMD outbreaks in less than one year period and the last recent was in February 2017. My younger child has recovered from HFMD and returned to school within the 10 days HFMD period and got into an accident caused by the school which had broken its protocols:
1) There were more than 1 case of HFMD so all classes have no assembly and should remain in their classes for parents pick up and drop off – however for whatever reason, the school combined the classes into 2 categories “HFMD” and “non-HFMD” with no notification to parents. My younger child whom has recovered from HFMD was placed into the class of K1 whom included HFMD-recovered kids. There were 2 kids at K1 known to be very active boys yet they placed my child there without second thought and their sizes were twice than him. it was still within HFMD 10 days period.
2) My son gotten injured and I wasn’t informed at all. My son came crying to me and complained of pain in his mouth when I arrived to pick him up around 640pm. I asked the teacher (they didn’t even wanted to inform me!) and she said that another older kid punched him at the mouth and it was nothing serious. When your son gets punched, its nothing serious? Really? But it was pick up time and there wasn’t any signs of blood yet., so I returned home. I was about to brush his teeth as his normal bathing routine and saw that there was blood on his mouth, his tooth was bleeding and shaky. I dropped an email to his teacher and sent my son to a dentist the next day. The x-ray revealed a broken tooth. He had to go through surgery to remove the remaining 3 pieces of tooth fragments in the gum. I was shocked and when I checked with the teachers and vice-principal (I was told that the principal didn’t even want to talk to me), they showed me the CCTV footage as I requested. The older boy accidentally knocked on my son’s chin. It wasn’t intentional, it is very clear that it was an unfortunate accident.The vice principal said that one teacher was signing out for another kid and the other teacher went to throw rubbish. Why would you prioritise throwing rubbish over watching children? Now that the accident has happened and resulted in my son having a missing tooth for the next 5 years of his life, it’s a clear case of negligence.
3) The children must be supervised by teacher at all times but no teachers were at sight accordingly to the CCTV.
4) Principal did not show any concern about the incident and left the Vice Principal and teacher to talk to me- I had to ask where is the Principal and she finally responded when the VP informed the District manager and had a meeting with the DM, Principal and myself more than one week after the incident. During the meeting, DM kept emphasizing we are here to mediate the case. But I’m wasn’t here to mediate the case, I was here to listen to why the Principal did not even touch base with me where she has my mobile phone number which she can easily contacted me and show some concern! She threw the case to the VP whom was asked to show me the CCTV when I requested and told me that the school insurance will cover his medical costs. There was no one to take accountability of what happened to my child. I asked teachers around during the week where is the Principal, some say training , some say on leave but she came in to the school on the same week yet did not contact me at all?! Was my son’s accident so trivial that the Principal do not need to take charge at all?
The last straw was that the DM being unsympathetic towards my son’s accident and said this which pierced my heart “Damage is already done, you have to move on!” Does she even have some empathy for a mother who ran to the hospital to catch the dental surgeon in time for the surgery for fear that my son will swallow the broken tooth while sleeping? And be concerned that my son has to be put to sleep in order to perform the extraction of the broken fragments of the tooth which we need to stay in the hospital until he is awake?
And while I am still grieving over the pain my son had gone through and the smile which was no longer perfect, I have to make time for this futile meeting which I thought the school should have better accountability and responsibility over, was truly a waste! It even made the VP who was present in the meeting shuddered with embarrassment looking at how her DM forcefully cut all emotions and in urgency to close this meeting without using any effort to find out the background before meeting me. There is no shame in how a branded school like Learning Vision managed a negligent accident caused by school and treated a parent with no sympathy and concern on the affected child. Anyway, it is very pointless to continue any conversation thereafter.
I have no rights to the CCTV and I do not know where to bring my case to but I am sharing this as I do not want to hear of any parent and child to suffer this pain as mine.
Since last year, I have been observing the shortage of manpower; and even teachers agreed that there are not enough manpower and they cant do anything. The teachers could have told me that we have enough manpower and how many is in this class etc but they agreed with my observation.
The aftermath of this was that my son has been experiencing drooling because his bottom centre tooth was missing and has to wait for 4-5 years for his adult tooth to grow. No one in the school has taken responsibility of my son’s accident at all.
Rude principal, unsympathetic district manager, negligent teachers, manpower shortage and multiple disappointments have really pushed me to my limits which made me withdrew my kids from LV.
A Very Disappointed Parent