Primary school worker jailed for pocketing over $41k from pupils
The money was collected from children and was meant for Children's Day celebrations, co-curricular activities (CCA) and school trips. Instead, it went into the pocket of a pregnant administrative worker from the school.
Yesterday, Siti Rafeah Abd Hamid, 44, who was a customer service officer at Frontier Primary School since 2012, was jailed for four months for criminal breach of trust after she was found to have pocketed more than $41,000 that was entrusted to her.
Between January and November 2017, Siti was entrusted with more than $36,000 collected from the pupils.
She was supposed to record the amount into the system before handing it over to the operation manager, who would then deposit the money into the school's bank account.
But she did not record the transactions and spent the money.
She was also entrusted with another $4,800 in February last year. It was not revealed what she did with that sum.
Siti was found out in July last year when the school could not pay a CCA vendor as there were insufficient funds in the school's account.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Lee said Siti made full restitution and asked for a sentence of four months.
In mitigation, Siti's lawyer T.M. Sinnadurai told the court she was married with five children, with the youngest just eight months old.
He asked that the court impose a sentence that would not keep her from her children for too long.
In response to queries from The New Paper yesterday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said Siti is on no-pay leave.
"MOE takes a serious view of staff misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline," said the spokesman.
"MOE will commence our disciplinary process accordingly."
It is also tightening the billing and collections processes in schools.
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