Mdm Naida, 38 years old, is stateless and a single mother to 4 children between the ages of 10-16 years old. Her late mother was a PR citizen and she never knew her father. Even though Mdm Naida was born in Singapore, due to her status, she does not qualify for many of the benefits and government subsidies. Due to the high cost of education, she never completed her studies and currently works hard as a cleaner bringing home a meagre salary of S$1,000 a month.
Mdm Naida’s third child, Puteri, 12 years old, is also stateless like her mother. Even though she was born in Singapore and has lived her whole life in Singapore, she is not a Singaporean citizen. Like any other 12-year-old, Puteri is active in school and gets along well with her classmates. She enjoys school and looks forward to attending classes. However, as Puteri is stateless, education is extremely expensive and Mdm Naida is unable to afford her school fees. Puteri’s school fees is S$650 a month and till date Mdm Naida has incurred an education debt of S$20,783. On the 6th of December 2017, Mdm Naida received a letter from MOE informing her that since she has not settled the outstanding debt, Puteri was no longer allowed to attend school. It was only after the assistance of an MP that Puteri was allowed back to school. Currently, Mdm Naida pays S$50 a month for Puteri’s school fees and the remainder of the S$600 will accumulated into the education debt. By the time Puteri sits for her PSLE Exam, it is estimated that her debt would have amassed to S$27,283. Mdm Naida has HDB and conservancy arrears as well.
Mdm Naida fears that Puteri will not be able to attend secondary school as MOE has informed her that her PSLE results will not be released to her until her debts are cleared. Mdm Naida never completed school and now works as a cleaner. Her salary is meagre, and she struggles to provide for her children. She does not want Puteri to suffer from the same fate as her and deeply wishes for Puteri to complete her education. No child in Singapore, regardless of their status, should be prevented from completing their education and having a good future.
ROHI would therefore like to raise Puteri’s school fees of S$50 plus her brother’s school fees of S$10 per month for 10 months (S$60 x 10 months) plus S$400 for the family’s living expenses while Mdm Naida tries her best to clear the education debt. Please help Puteri, who was born in Singapore and has lived her whole life here, attend school as education is the only way out of poverty.