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Ng Eng Chin cleared of all charges, back as principal

MR NG ENG CHIN
“The truth is
finally out.”

Focus now on giving students the best education: ACS BOG head

MR NG ENG CHIN has returned as Principal of Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) after he had been unanimously cleared by a Panel of Inquiry (POI) of all 10 allegations of acting inappropriately with a student last year.

When told of the outcome of the inquiry on Sept 2, 2002, Mr Ng, 43, said: “I am glad the truth is finally out.”

Mr Tan Wah Thong, Chairman of the Anglo-Chinese Schools Board of Governors (ACS BOG), Mr Ng’s employer, said: “I am relieved this is all over. Let’s put behind us this unfortunate event and look ahead to more important things.

“Let us focus on giving our students the best all-round education, based on Christian values and principles, that will mould them into good citizens long after they leave school. What a wonderful time and opportunity to do this now that ACS (Barker Road) is going to have spanking new premises in the new year with upgraded facilities and a better school environment.”

What had been dubbed the “Ng Eng Chin saga” began last year when a student and his mother accused Mr Ng of molesting the boy during late-night counselling sessions. Mr Ng, who was Principal of the school for nine years, left his position on May 13, 2002, pending the outcome of the inquiry. He was posted to the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The boy, now 17, was put on probation last year for theft and assault. He is no longer with the school.

The ACS BOG has reminded Mr Ng to “exercise great prudence and care in counselling in future”.

In a press statement signed by Mr Tan, it called on Mr Ng to undergo formal training in counselling “so as to better equip himself for his resumed role as Principal of ACS (Barker Road)”.

Although the police had decided not to institute criminal proceedings against Mr Ng, they referred the report made by the boy’s mother, and the outcome of their investigations, to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to consider whether Mr Ng had conducted himself appropriately in the discharge of his professional duty.

The MOE, in turn, referred the matter to the ACS BOG as Mr Ng was its employee. The MOE also requested that Mr Ng be posted out of ACS (Barker Road) pending the outcome of the inquiry.

The ACS BOG then set up a Panel of Inquiry (POI) to look into the 10 allegations of “inappropriate conduct” against Mr Ng. The inquiry was conducted from July 12 to 14, 2002. All the 13 members of the ACS BOG sat as members of the POI with five external advisers representing The Methodist Church in Singapore, the Methodist schools and the MOE.

Mr Ng and the complainants were represented by their lawyers.

The POI unanimously dismissed all the 10 allegations of inappropriate conduct made against Mr Ng. It then recommended to the MOE that Mr Ng be reinstated as Principal of ACS (Barker Road).

The MOE had noted that the inquiry was thorough and had accepted the POI’s conclusions and recommendations.

The POI reminded the teachers, and especially the principals, that they must be very careful when they counsel their students.

“In the best interests of our schools, students and staff, it is important that staff exercise prudence and care when exposed to situations as those which faced Mr Ng,” said the ACS BOG.

 

WHY THE NEED FOR THE INQUIRY

‘Although the police had decided not to institute criminal proceedings against Mr Ng, they referred the report made by the boy’s mother, and the outcome of their investigations, to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to consider whether Mr Ng had conducted himself appropriately in the discharge of his professional duty. The MOE, in turn, referred the matter to the ACS BOG as Mr Ng was its employee. The MOE also requested that Mr Ng be posted out of ACS (Barker Road) pending the outcome of the inquiry.’

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