'Gifted' private tutor told by MOE to stop lying

SINGAPORE - Mr Kelvin Ong Wee Loong, the founder of AristoCare centre, charges a whopping $250 per lesson for parents of primary school students looking to clinch a place in the coveted Gifted Education Programme (GEP).

GEP is a highly selective academic programme in Singapore, designed to identify the top 1 per cent of students from each academic year.

On his website, the 36-year-old claimed he was previously from Clementi Town Primary before being admitted to Anglo-Chinese School's (Primary) GEP in Primary 4.

He further stated that he went on to attend Anglo-Chinese Junior College and the National University of Singapore, before becoming a teacher in the GEP programme at his alma mater.

However, checks by the Ministry of Education (MOE) revealed that Mr Ong was neither ever a pupil nor teacher in the programme, The Sunday Times reported (SUT)

He is not even a qualified teacher, and according to ACS (Primary), not even a student of the school.

MOE was alerted to the claims when SUT ran a report on parents sending children for costly tuition, where Mr Ong was featured as a highly sought after tutor.

In response to the revelations, Mr Ong said it was his mother who told him that he was from the gifted programme and he could not verify it because he does not have the records from the past.

He has since cleaned up his website and now claims that he was a relief teacher at ACS (Primary) from 2002 to 2003 and 'helped out' with the gifted classes.

However, this too is being disputed by the ACS (Primary), which said that a check with all its long-serving teachers revealed that there was never a Kelvin Ong who taught there as a relief teacher.

This is not the first time Mr Ong has faced allegations of misleading claims.

Two parents have asked him to remove positive testimonials supposedly written by their children, saying that their children never wrote them.

In 2010, Mr Ong also got into hot water with MOE for selling fake 2009 GEP Screening and Selection Test papers.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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