Friday, March 14, 2008

QT Meeting with KB on Saturday, and outcomes

GodParent wrote:
Dear Bala and others,
Pl confirm whether we are meeting the Principal and the Mgmt on sat at 10 AM or not?
Any outcome of today's meeting between 5 parents and mgmt?
Pl confirm urgently
[Update from the Editorial Team, 16/03/2008:
Kudos to ParentsGroup and the few others, for their good effort and for taking the first step forward! We did not (and should not) expect GIF to reverse the hike very easily. So, the outcome we have now (no change) was to be expected. But this 'failure' is but the first step to victory.

Your victory is in what you had achieved, in asking questions and getting back answers and recording and sharing back with the other parents in true community spirit. You have set an example through your actions. This, when all parents are in the dark about what agreement PSG had made with KB on Friday (We are still hopeful that PSG would come back and inform parents, but that is another matter). The story has only begun, as other small groups will now be encouraged to find out more and ask even better questions, record their interactions for the benefit of the others, and eventually unravel the secrets.

This is also a bit like little Davids fighting the big Goliath, and we cannot expect victory in a day.

But it is very good that your meeting did not end up as a shouting match (as had happened in previous years with certain parents. It is easy to lose your calm when faced with the cold and unmoving position of the supposedly charitable management). In fact, driving some parents away from QT is a commercially rewarding strategy for GIF. The non-refundable money accumulates and frees up a seat to trap the next victim waiting in line.

This team does not believe that uninformed mobs shouting at the gates can produce the desired results
.

Our approach is to put together the data, before we seek intervention. We still don't have all the datawe need. We urgently need more parents supporting the data collection. We would like to tell you that only a few weeks ago, the blogging parents were seriously thinking of shutting down the blog, due to lack of volunteer help. Imagine what you would have, had we quit by the time the fee hike announcement hit home ! Fee hike is the top concern currently, but that is not the be-all and end-all for this blog. We are still short of volunteer help !

At the same time, we support and encourage efforts by parents like ParentsGroup who came forward to bring up the fee hike with KB. We wish more parents could physically be there to support ParentsGroup & co, but then, what you saw is what you get in an Indian school !
The core bloggers do not want to come under pressure from GIIS/GIF and have to shut down the blog, so they are naturally being more careful and not giving away too much at this early stage.

The questions you asked were good (could have been better), and KB's answers revealing. We know with fair certainty that even a 50-60% lease hike, if true, would only reduce the profit margin by a certain bit. Since you did not manage to elicit the campus-wise lease figures (old and new), we don't know what the stated "50-60% increase" really refers to. We suspect that there would be some 50 - 60% increase somewhere, otherwise KB could not have given out that number (we are talking of shades of truth here). GIIS has gone from two campuses to three. This itself could be the meaning of the 50% increase ! Recall that we had demanded in Nov 2007 that the cost of the 3rd campus should not be dumped on parents. If a parent volunteer can contact SLA to ascertain the facts, that would be a good start. We would think that a 50% raise in lease of a campus would have made it to the newspapers ! In all likelihood, this could be the cost escalation resulting from the expansion, and as expansions continue beyond Balestier, to Vietnam, Australia, Africa, the Americas and elsewhere, it is very important that we get more data and be prepared for what is coming.

There is some new information from 'Mathematician' on the T&G 'model'. One parent had mentioned that T&G transaction data can be obtained. That would be very valuable, and our number crunchers are standing by. So, please get it !

An 'Anonymous' commentator has advocated mass petition. We encourage and support that. Please get yourself a GMail ID, get your friends together, join some group or blog, write a draft petition and share it somewhere, either here, or with the already formed GoogleGroup. But, please take some action, and do not just wait for the blogging parents (or someone else) to take initiative. We can certainly help with drafting the petitions and will sign too. If there are 5 different petitions, there is no harm !

-Eds 16/03/2008]

24
COMMENTS MOVED OVER BELOW and CLOSED as at 17/03/2008.
go to NEXT POST for CONTINUATION

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I heard 6 parents are meeting the principle between 10am and 11am. I might join in too... I hope the school management will be able to justify the fee hikes with necessary proofs. see you there .


MeetingHappeningQTonSatMorning

Anonymous said...

The sat mtg is being co-ordinated by raatdinraat@gmail.com. for latest status, please ask RDR.

Meeting the principal is no use, he may have no clue but will try to pacify.

The hearsay info is that KB meeting of today in QT was for 5 parents but they are psg, so no idea what it was about, and no way of knowing as psg will not post.

KB unable to meet real parents ?

if anybody has heard anything about KB+psg agenda or outcomes, pls come n post.

psg playing hide n seek is unfortunate

ParentsGroup said...

Dear All Parents,

we've a meeting with KB at 10.30AM on 15/03,
Please meet up at QT campus at 10.15AM. Please come on time so that we can go together to meet KB otherwise you will be alone.
Also request your other friends to come and show us our strength.

See you tomorrow.
RDR.

priya said...

I have prayed for your good and peaceful meeting. How did it go.

I can come weekdays. I am willing to go with PSG mums or other group of home makers.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that none of you turned up today to meet KB.

RDR, where were you ? Atleast you could have waited near the entrance to the office so that we could easily identify you and your supporters.

Kudos to your courage and action words.

If you had really been there, then let me know how many parents met with KB?

Pl clarify how the meeting today was organized and its outcome.

We parent stood there like a fool to find only a bunch of parents for new admission.

anxious to know said...

If so it is sad. Can somebody from PSG kindly post what your meeting with KB was about on Friday and what is decided. Did you discuss any parents issues, fee hike is a top one right now even for the well heeled parents.

Are you getting emails we sent to QT PSG address ? No response...!!!

Anonymous said...

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........I read QT campus around 10:40am and saw business going as usual for the new admission intake. I was told at the reception that meeting with KB has started and was not allowed to join the meeting. So, what was the outcome of the meeting. Did KB give any carrots?

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate to note form the last few comments that incoming and aspiring parents are unaware of the real situation and are becoming the next set of victims. Any ingenious ideas on how to alert these newcomers?

ParentsGroup said...

Dear All Parents,

It is very sad to say that I was shocked when I saw only 2 parents today to meet KB.

The meeting was not so good and they are not willing to revert back the Fee hike.
Anyway I would like to highlight few points of our meeting,

1) We asked about reason for this hike - As he mentioned that SLA has increased the lease fee 50%-60% more than previous lease.

2) We asked about, when this decision was taken to raise the fee,- he mentioned the decision was taken very recently.

3) Then we asked regarding the registration fee which is non refundable,that must be waived off.
- he mentioned that the school as governed by the Charities Law and cannot grant any waiver.

4) we asked about waive off the Topping up the deposit, - he gave the same reaosn and cannot waive.

5) Then we asked about the why are raising the Bus fee which is already more then others, - he mentioned that T&G is having drivers crunch so they are bringing more drivers from Sri Lanka and T & G asking for hike.

Finally we asked about if we would like to withdraw of kids from school, as you guys have not given the enough time to the parents to decide whether they can afford the fee hike or not and we don't have enough time to give 3 month notice and we would like you to refund our deposit, - he mentioned that he can't answer, this will be decided by the Committee and will be let us know by 25th march.

Also he tried to give some carrots like you can pay the registration and top up amount in the installments. which is also case by case not applicable for all.

Thats all for now.

Anonymous said...

Dear Editorial Team,

I could not really follow what you mean in your editorial note. When did Bala meet QT Mgmt or KB and where he has posted the outcome o the meeting ?

I can see only one parent summarizing his discussion with KB.

I should submit RDR miserably failed to keep up his promise in atleast being prompt to be at QT at 1015 AM for the 1030 mtng. Infact I also found that there was no apptmt fixed with KB by RDR or by Bala...So why such emails ydady morning inviting parents to assemble at QT campus for a meeting that never exists in the first place !!!!! Any explanation ?????

Why don't the editorial team itself organize an open house for all GIIS parents in an independant venue, prepare a draft petition and circulate before the meeting for comments, organize subject wise discussions, finalize action points, obtain signatures, submit then the final petition to GIIS Mgmt, Indian High Commission, Ministry of Education, Honble Abdul Kalam, all the governming body members, Education Department in TamilNadu and India.

If the members and the editorial team are bold enough to carry out the above,then it becomes a solid movement to register out protest and express our concerns in the right way and right spirit, collectively.

Pl be action oriented in giving completeness to all our well provoked thoughts and wisdom ! We have had enough discussed in this blog about the fee hike....

Lets finish this task and then move ahead to other challenges....for our kids future !!!!!

parent1 said...

A comment on the above...

Let us not start infight with RDR or Bala about his getting late (if he did). We have bigger problems to solve. (This is the usual Indian tendency to keep in fighting, and the british took our wealth. don't forget!)

Agreed with previous 'anonymous'. Everybody is waiting for somebody to show initiative. 'Anonymous' included... I am included.

who will bell the cat?

Anonymous said...

KB is bullshitting about TnG getting drivers from Sri Lanka for the buses. Bus Drivers require Class 4 license to drive in Singapore. TnG at present has 80% drivers from Malaysia...and there is no shortage of drivers. You dont see the aunties in the buses anymore for the last 6 months how can the cost of operation go up. Why are there no aunties to attend to school children? Anyone knows Why??

Anonymous said...

I think we have to deal with the school as Singaporeans do. The schools don't bother about what is written on this blog. I have decided to Sue the school for damages on the grounds that the school has not given sufficient notice to the parents for the fees hike plus lack of justification or transpency on the part of School management to show cause for the increase in its operational cost. TnG transport buses are packed liked sardines just wait at the QT campus around 3:30pm during school normal operatioin hours and you can get a glimpse of half packed buses from East Coast campus rushing in to QT campus to pick the kids. As the mathematician claims the school seems to be paying TnG per trip....enough proof to show no bus aunties and buses reach school always late. Can anyone suggest how should I proceed for filing a case against GIF and the school management. I am going to meet a lawyer today to discuss on this issue. I may require financial help and support to share the legal expenses. Your initial support is all I need at the moment.

ParentsGroup said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am with you to share the legal expences.

Dear Other Parents,
Please support Anonymous in taking initiative to file a legel case on the school. As you might know that KB mentiond to me that GIF is governed by the Charities Law, In such case, we have the full rights to ask for the balance sheet.
I hope many parents will come forward to support our group.
Please drop an email at RDR to confirm. Please don't do that you have done on saturday. I was waiting for you but seems no body was on the time.

Regards,
RDR.

KB-PG MEETING ANALYSIS-I said...

THOUGH THE MEETING WITH KB WAS UNSUCCESSFUL, LET US NOW CLOSLEY EXAMINE THE LIES MOUTHED BY THE SCHOOL HERE:

1) We asked about reason for this hike - As he mentioned that SLA has increased the lease fee 50%-60% more than previous lease. HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO BE TRUE.OUR INVESTIGATIONS SHOW THAT THE IN 2004 THE RATES PER SQ.MTR WAS IN THE RANGE OF 8.5 TO 9.00 DOLLARS. THE RENT IS PAYABLE ONLY FOR BUILT-UP AREA. WHICH MENAS THAT GIIS WAS PAYING A RENT OF APPOXIMATELY 105,000 DOLLARS PER MONTH.THIS IS ON THE HIGEHR SIDE.THE REAL FIGURE MAY BE 10,000 TO 12,000 DOLLARS LESS.NOW, THE MONTHLY RENT (105,000) IS EQUIVALENT TO THE FEE PAYABLE BY ROUGHLY 205 STUDENTS OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL ( CLASSES VI - VIII). THIS IS TAKEN AS AN AVERAGE OF THE FEE PAID BY KG AND PRIMARY ON ONE HAND A AND CLASSES IX AND ABOVE ON THE OTHER. 205 IS ROUGHLY ONE TENTH OF THE STRENGTH AT QUEENSTOWN. SO, ANY HIKE IN RENT SHOULD HAVE ONLY A 10% OF THE IMPACT OF THE INCREASE ON THE FEE, ASSUMING THAT THE SCHOOL WAS NOT ALREADY MAKING A BIG PROFIT. SO, IF THE RENTAL LEASE WAS HIKED BY 60% AS IT IS CLAIMED ( WHICH COULD BE A BIG LIE BUT FOR THE SAKE OF CALCULATION, LET US TAKE IT AS TRUE), THE IMPACT SHOULD BE 10 % OF THE 60 % INCREASE WHICH IS ACTUALLY 6% !!!! PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WE HAVE GIVEN BUFFERS AT VARIOUS STAGES HERE A) RENT LISTED ABOVE IS HIGHER THAN WHAT IS ACTUALLY PAID, B) WE HAVE TAKEN AVERAGE FEE WHICH IS SLIGHTLY LESS THAN THE REAL AVERAGE,C) THE INTEREST GAINED THROUGH INVETSING THE NON REFUNDABLE DEPOSITS ( 3200 X 2500 =8,000,000) IS NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT,D) THE ADMISSION FEE PAID WHICH RUNS IN TO MILLIONS IS NOT TAKEN IN TO ACCOUNT E) WE ARE ASSUMING THAT THE RENTAL LEASE IS INCREASED BY 60%...... F) THE SCHOOL STANDS TO GAIN HEAVILY THROUGH THE REGISTRATION FEE IN A PLACE LIKE SINGAPORE WHERE THE POPULATION IS TRANSIENT. THAT IS, A STUDENT WHO PAYS 1950 AS REGISTRATION FEE IS EXPECETD TO ENJOY THE FACILITIES OF THE SCHOOL FOR HIS ENTIRE STUDENT LIFE ( SPANNING 14 YEARS FROM KG TO CLASS XII), BUT MOST PARENTS ENJOY IT ONLY FOR THREE TO FOUR YEARS. TAKING AN OVERALL VIEW OF ALL THE ABOVE, YOU CAN JUDGE FOR YOURSELF AS TO WHAT IS FAIR.

COMMENTS ON OTHER REPLIES OFFERED BY KB TO PARENTS GROUP WILL FOLLOW.

kb pg meeting analysis-end said...

2) We asked about, when this decision was taken to raise the fee,- he mentioned the decision was taken very recently.

NEXT TIME YOU MEET ANY OF THESE GUYS, PIN THEM DOWN AND ASK FOR EXACT DATES AND FIGURES AND RECORD EVERYTHING.

3) Then we asked regarding the registration fee which is non refundable, that must be waived off.
- he mentioned that the school as governed by the Charities Law and cannot grant any waiver.

ANOTHER BIG LIE! WAS HE SPECIFIC? WHAT CHARITIES LAW IS HE TALKING ABOUT? CAN YOU MAIL HIM NOW AND GET THE EXACT LAW THAT GOVERNS THE SCHOOL? TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE, GIIS IS A ‘SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP CONCERN’ REGISTERED UNDER ACRA, SINGAPORE.

4) we asked about waive off the Topping up the deposit, - he gave the same reason and cannot waive.

OK, WE UNDERTSTAND THE CHARITY BIT NOW AND THE DONORS ( WE PEOPLE) AND RECEIPIENTS ( THE GIF FAMILY) ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED. BUT LET US AT LEAST KNOW WHAT IS THE “CHARITIES LAW” (THEY VERY USE OF THIS LOOSE TERMINOLOGY TELLS US THE EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND OF THE GROUP – THERE IS NO GENERIC TERM AS CHARITIES LAW. THERE MUST BE ACTS AND STATUTES AND WE NEED TO KNOW WHICH ONES)

5) Then we asked about the why are raising the Bus fee which is already more then others, - he mentioned that T&G is having drivers crunch so they are bringing more drivers from Sri Lanka and T & G asking for hike.

WHICH IS FUNNY ( SEE ANOTHER COMMENT HERE ABOVE BY ANONYMOUS). GO TO QT/EC AND FIND OUT HOW MANY SRI LANKAN FACES CAN BE SEEN. IN ANY CASE, T & G SUB CONTRACTS THESE SERVICES AND DOES NOT GET DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH DRIVERS. MOST 12, 18 AND 30 SEATERS ARE DRIVEN BY OWNERS, OFTEN WITH WIVES ACTING AS ‘AIUNTIES’.

6) Finally we asked about if we would like to withdraw of kids from school, as you guys have not given the enough time to the parents to decide whether they can afford the fee hike or not and we don't have enough time to give 3 month notice and we would like you to refund our deposit, - he mentioned that he can't answer, this will be decided by the Committee and will be let us know by 25th march.

BY WHICH TIME EITHER YOU WOULD BE TIRED OF THE ENTIRE EXERCISE OR IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO JOIN OTHER SCHOOLS. THE FEE HIKE AND ITS TIMINGS (AS SAID BY SOMEONE ELSE IN THIS BLOG) IS TYPICAL OF GIIS AND GIF. THEY HAVE TRAPPED US ONCE MORE!!!

Anonymous said...

No you are not trapped.Nothing to worry about admitting your children to Local Schools.The local neighbourhood Schools are much more structered and MOE governed. Local schools now admit foreign students anytime of the year at the same Level as they are in the foreign country. Fees for Citizens/PR's is only 13SGD per month and for Employment pass holders is 100SGD/month. Check this MOE site for more info...

http://www.moe.gov.sg/esp/foreign/

ParentsGroup said...

Dear Parents,

If you are really thinking to take out your child from GIIS and looking for a good school with reasonably reg fee and deposit, please drop an email to RDR now.

Best Wishes,
RDR

Anonymous said...

[UPDATE BY EDITOR IN CHARGE on 17/03/2008: A previous GIIS Announcement sent by school to all parents (popularly known as the 'venomous' mail) was cut-pasted here by the 'Anonymous' commentator at this place.

We have snipped out the main body of the mail to avoid further embarassment to GIIS/GIF for an act for which they have already shown signs of regret (though without tendering an apology to the falsely maligned individual).
We apologize to our readers and the the 'Anonymous' commentator as well, for any inconvenience caused.

KINDLY KEEP THE DISCUSSIONS RELEVANT AND FOCUSSED. Thank you.
]

Mr.AT on Nandakumar

Dear GIIS Parents,

This email is to inform you of the School Board’s decision .....SNIP.. SNIP... SNIP...
....already commenced several quality initiatives and provided with excellent leadership and academic excellence.

Regards

Governing Board
GIIS Queenstown


Anonymous said...

I think KB is right ....saw one Sri Lankan driver with TnG transport today....

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/3381/srilankandrivercn8.jpg

Anonymous said...

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/3381/srilankandrivercn8.jpg

here is the photo of the first sri lankan driver with TnG

huh? said...

Are you sure he is Sri Lankan ? He looks like Johor-ean to me ;)

Can you also post a scan copy of his driving license ? I hope he has one...

[CONTINUED on NEXT POST]