A letter dated last Friday (27 Jul) from MindChamps Preschool @ Liang Court was condemned by netizens for its allegedly elitist and discriminatory content regarding the application for the grassroots leadership of the River Valley Neighbourhood Committee (RVNC).
In the letter, it said that parents of children attending MindChamps Preschool “have been given priority access to sign up as grassroots leaders with River Valley Neighbourhood Committee”.
According to the CEO of the preschool, signing up as grassroots leaders, will allow them to “receive recommendation letters for schools within our [River Valley] precinct, for example River Valley Primary School”. He added that “in order to be an active grassroots leader”, parents are required to “participate actively in their program and organize up to two activities or major events”.
He also said that the primary aim of the priority access is “to help ease the stress during the Primary 1 enrollment exercise”, on top of giving back “to society” as well as to “foster greater synergy […] amongst Singaporeans”.
Damage Control by RVNC
With more netizens going online to condemn MindChamps, RVNC which is a grassroots organization under the People’s Association (PA), quickly went into damage-control mode on Sunday (29 Jul) by posting a statement on its Facebook page saying that while MindChamps sent the letter “with good intention to encourage parents to contribute to the community”, the information cited in the letter was “inappropriate and inaccurate”.
It added that the letter was “prepared solely by the school”, without consulting it, thereby distancing itself from any responsibility with regard to the debacle. RVNC said that it has since communicated with MindChamps and that the pre-school was “apologetic” and agreed to retract the letter.
Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Joan Pereira appears to be also distancing herself from MindChamps. Responding to the media’s queries yesterday (31 Jul), she said, “It was unfortunate that MindChamps sent out a factually inaccurate letter to parents.” RVNC has “no such arrangements with MindChamps or any other organisations”, she added. Ms Pereira is the grassroots adviser for River Valley area.
However, MindChamps declined further comment when approached by the media on the matter.
Ms Pereira and MindChamps
In any case, going through past information on the Internet, MP Pereira appears to be quite “familiar” with MindChamps.
Last Oct, MindChamps’ students were seen performing at the open house of the new Downtown Line 3. What is interesting is that Ms Pereira posted on her Facebook page specifically highlighting it:
And last week just prior to the debacle, she attended a special event at MindChamps:
She wrote on her Facebook page about the event, “Parents picked up tips on nutrition, child safety and sensory play while our children had a great time playing with toys and exercising on the gym equipment.”
“Happy to see our families bonding and having a great time! Thank you My River Valley Neighbourhood, Orchard NC, Alexandra Neighbourhood Commitee and Mindchamps for a memorable morning,” she added.
Apparently, this event, Embracing PArenthood Movement was organised by PA to strengthen familial bonds. Even though it was organised by PA and some of its associated grassroots organizations, MindChamps is somehow a “partner” of the event.
“A big vote of thanks to MindChamps Singapore (Liang Court Branch) for their continued support and partnership in hosting this year’s event,” RVNC posted a thank you note to MindChamps on its Facebook page: