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Student care centre made wrongful subsidy claims

Muhammad Ashraf and his younger sister Nurul Umairah playing with mini-cajons, at Impresario Learning Lab, an after-school care centre in Jalan Bukit Ho Swee.
Muhammad Ashraf and his younger sister Nurul Umairah playing with mini-cajons, at Impresario Learning Lab, an after-school care centre in Jalan Bukit Ho Swee. PHOTO: ST FILE

A student care centre which made wrongful claims for student fee subsidies is to cease operations later this month.

Impresario Learning Lab in Tiong Bahru pulled the plug after the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) gave it a notice of intention to revoke its status on Aug 23. It also gave the centre 14 days to provide an explanation regarding the wrongful claims, but it did not do so by the deadline.

The MSF yesterday revealed that Impresario Learning Lab had written to it to say it plans to stop operations on Sept 20 and had informed parents of its decision. According to ministry records, the centre has 14 children enrolled, half of whom receive government student care fee assistance.

The ministry is now in the process of recovering the full amount of wrongful subsidy claims, though it did not reveal figures. The MSF said it conducts regular audits on centres to make sure that fee assistance claims are genuine. Impresario Learning Lab could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Just last month, Little India-based Welcare student care centre also had its status as an administrator of government student care fee assistance revoked. An MSF audit in March found that Welcare had made multiple wrongful claims.

Kok Xing Hui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2016, with the headline 'Student care centre made wrongful subsidy claims'. Print Edition | Subscribe