Preschool network Kinderland has recently imposed a prohibition on staff members utilizing personal devices during working hours, citing the aim of safeguarding children’s privacy within their facilities.
This directive follows the emergence of video footage depicting two teachers purportedly engaging in abusive behavior towards students at the Woodlands Mart and Choa Chu Kang branches. The accused teachers were apprehended earlier this week, with one of them formally charged with child ill-treatment on Wednesday.
First Case : In connection to the first video evidence showing alleged mistreatment of children, a former preschool teacher named Lin Min, aged 33, was formally charged on Wednesday (August 30) with a count of ill-treating a child or young person. As a result of a court-imposed gag order, the identity of the purported victim remains undisclosed.
Second Case : On 29 August 2023 video surfaced on social media showing a teacher hitting a boy on his head at the Choa Chu Kang centre. Following the emergence of a new video on social media depicting a Kinderland preschool teacher allegedly striking a child, a 48-year-old woman was apprehended on Tuesday (August 29).
This incident marks the second arrest of a preschool teacher within the same week, both linked to Kinderland preschools, for alleged mistreatment of children under their supervision.
Kinderland, a preschool chain, had released a statement on 29 Aug & 30 Aug addressing concerns about recent incidents involving alleged abuse by teachers. The institution assures the public and parents of its enduring commitment to their trust, while investigations are being conducted both externally by authorities and internally by Kinderland. One teacher has been dismissed, and another suspended pending further investigation. The affected parents who accepted the institution’s apology and measures have garnered profound gratitude.
To ensure children’s privacy, Kinderland employs company-issued devices for all communication with parents, including sharing media via a Pre-School Management App. To prevent potential misuse of visual content, Kinderland has now prohibited staff from using personal devices during teaching hours. The institution hopes these measures will effectively enhance protection for all parties involved.
In response to queries from CNA, Kinderland clarified on Thursday morning (August 31) that the personal device ban was not implemented to stifle whistleblowing activities.
The company’s stance emphasized the use of company-issued devices for capturing photos and videos of children, with the intention of curbing the tendency to employ personal devices for official purposes.
Kinderland’s statement conveyed: “While at work, where work is work, if devices are needed, then it’s official devices that should be used and not personal ones. It was not the idea to restrict the use of personal phones to remove whistleblowing, but the concern over the privacy of the children that spurred the reinforcing of this policy.”
“To also prevent the misuse of photos and videos of our children, Kinderland will now make it a policy that staff not use their personal devices during teaching hours,” the Facebook post stated.
“We hope these measures will better protect all.”
Responding to inquiries, Kinderland underlined that the app utilized for parent communication also facilitated the distribution of notices, information, and resources. The school further disclosed its intention to bolster security measures by installing CCTVs in classrooms. The use of official devices, the institution asserted, would allow for the documentation and reporting of any untoward incidents by staff or teachers.
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