How Tuition Teachers In Singapore Who Helped Students Cheat In Their Exams Were Caught

One of the teachers pleaded guilty to 27 counts of cheating.

Cover image via Wong Kwai Chow/The Straits Times (Edited)

Back in 2016, six students who were sitting for their O-level exam papers in Singapore had answers read to them through an earpiece

Photo for illustration purposes only.

Image via BBC

The students, all of whom are Chinese nationals, were part of an elaborate cheating scheme orchestrated by their teachers to "help" the students pass their exams.

As reported by The Straits Times, the cheating operation involved the students smuggling communication devices into their respective examination centres so that the tutors could whisper answers to them remotely through the skin-coloured earphones that they wore as their mobile phones remain hidden under their clothes.

One of the tuition teachers, Tan Jia Yan, even posed as a private candidate to take the exam

It was learned that a mobile phone was secured on her chest and hidden under her clothes.

The FaceTime application was running on the phone to beam images of the paper she was attempting while the other teachers work out the answers and convey them to the students.

It was alleged that Tan participated in the scheme together with three other accomplices

From left: Fiona Poh Min, Poh Yuan Nie, and Feng Riwen allegedly conspired with Tan Jia Yan to help students to cheat in their O-level exam.

Image via Wong Kwai Chow/The Straits Times

The 32-year-old, who was an employee at Zeus Education Centre, allegedly conspired with the centre's principal Poh Yuan Nie, who is also known as Pony Poh, and fellow teachers at the centre Fiona Poh Min and Feng Riwen. Fiona is also Pony's niece.

It was alleged that Pony was the one leading the "cheating operations".

The New Paper reported that six students were referred to Zeus by a Chinese national known as Dong Xin for the 2016 O-level examinations. Dong and Zeus purportedly signed contracts, in which Pony would receive SGD8,000 (about RM23,750) in deposit and SGD1,000 (about RM3,000) in admission fees for every student referred to the centre. The fees were to be fully refunded if the students failed their exams.

The operations went on from 19 October to 24 October 2016, until the cheating was exposed when an invigilator noticed transmission sounds coming from student Chen Yi, who was sitting for his English Paper 1 at Tampines Secondary School.

Tan has since pleaded guilty to 27 counts of cheating

Image via AFP via CNA

AFP reported that details of the case were provided by the Attorney General’s Chambers and the court heard the case on Monday, 16 April when Tan was convicted.

Tan pleaded guilty to 26 charges for conspiring with three others to cheat the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) and one charge for abetting Chen Yi to cheat in an English exam.

Channel NewsAsia reported that Tan is expected to testify against her accomplices, who are contesting the charges against them. Tan, who will be sentenced at a later date, would be facing a jail term of up to three years and a fine.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga reportedly described the case as an "above sophisticated cheating operations".

In other news, a Singaporean teenage girl was recently investigated by the Singapore Police Force for cheating a man into buying a fake iPhone:

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