17-year-old crowdfunds on Twitter after parents who think poly students 'have no future' refuse to pay school fees

Republic Polytechnic said that they are in touch with Lochi to render assistance.

Ashley Tan | November 26, 2021, 03:02 PM

A 17-year-old student from Republic Polytechnic (RP) has resorted to crowdfunding to continue his education, after his parents refused to pay for his school fees.

The person, who goes by the name Lochi on Twitter, explained that his parents did not approve of his choice to study at a polytechnic.

Parents disapprove of polytechnic education

Lochi used to be a first year student at RP. As his parents were not willing to pay for the fees for his polytechnic, he is currently not schooling.

On Twitter, he shared that his parents have the "old generation mentality", and believe that polytechnic students "have no future".

Lochi told AsiaOne that his parents wanted him to take the A-levels as a private student, or at an international school.

His father was "initially okay" with him choosing a polytechnic, but his mother was averse to the idea, and threatened to return to Sri Lanka should the father pay for Lochi's school fees.

Between causing a rift in the family, and not paying for his son's school fees, Lochi's father chose the latter.

Lochi only managed to complete around a semester of school in 2021 before having to drop out.

He said that he has "tried almost everything" to continue schooling, but most options require his parent's signatures.

Working part-time as well

Lochi also used to be a recipient of the Ministry of Education Tuition Grant, but now has to pay a penalty of more than S$8,000 for not completing the course, AsiaOne reported.

He has thus turned to crowdfunding for money on Twitter as a last resort by displaying his PayNow QR code.

"It’s really embarrassing for me to be making this a public scenario but I actually need help from people."

He is currently aiming to raise around S$6,200, which is the amount his school fees cost per year even with financial aid.

To support himself, Lochi is also working part-time as a safe distancing ambassador.

As of the time of writing, his tweet posted on Nov. 18 has garnered over 770 retweets.

In an update on Nov. 23, he shared that he has received S$1,960. There was no further updates afterwards.

School in contact with him

In response to Lochi's plea for help, other Twitter users responded with suggestions on how he could find other forms of assistance.

Suggestions included applying for a student loan, approaching a social worker or RP for help, and even reaching out to his Member of Parliament.

However, Lochi shared that a student loan requires applicants to be at least 21 years old.

Furthermore, his situation is complicated by the fact that he is a permanent resident and not a Singaporean Citizen.

In response to Mothership's query, RP said that they are in touch with Lochi to render assistance and "have shared several options that he can explore in the meantime".

The school also responded to queries on Lochi's Twitter thread.

Mothership also reached out to Lochi for more information, but did not receive a response.

Top photo from West Point / Google Maps