A nine-year-old girl was allegedly slapped and hit with a metal rod in the face by her 60-year-old female tutor.
Studied at tutor's house 4 days a week
The girl's mother, Zhou Mei (transliteration from Chinese), told Shin Min Daily News that she and her husband came to Singapore in early 2023 and worked in a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinic.
Her daughter joined them in September, and they intended to enrol her in a primary school.
On a friend's recommendation, they engaged a female private tutor in her 60s to help prepare her for the admission test.
The girl would go to the tutor's Ang Mo Kio apartment every Wednesday to Sunday, from 9am to 2pm, to take English and Mathematics classes from her.
After more than a month of classes, however, Zhou was shocked to find multiple bruises on her daughter's body when she took a shower on the evening of Nov. 3.
When questioned, the girl said the teacher had punished her because she couldn't learn the English phrases.
According to the girl, the punishments included being slapped in the face and having her arms, chest, and legs pinched.
She said she was also spanked on the buttocks with a clothes hanger.
She claimed that on one particular occasion, the teacher used a "metal rod more than one metre long" to hit her face.
She said that the blow was so hard that her teeth hurt.
The girl also told her parents that she had nightmares at night as a result of the alleged beatings.
She would dream of a person chasing her with a knife and wake up abruptly.
Shin Min understood that the girl did not share the beatings with her parents initially as she did not want to get the elderly teacher in trouble with the police.
Police report lodged
Zhou admitted to Shin Min that the teacher had previously informed her and her husband that their daughter had been physically disciplined during class.
These were mentioned in messages from the teacher on WhatsApp, such as "Today, she got beaten, and then I (the tutor) treated her to Hainanese chicken rice".
However, Zhou said she and her husband assumed these were light punishments, such as hitting the palms or buttocks.
After discovering the extent of her injuries, the horrified parents brought her to lodge a police report and go for a medical checkup.
They also pulled her out of the classes immediately, and the girl has not seen the tutor since.
Zhou said she is considering enrolling her daughter in a learning centre.
Police investigations are ongoing: Shin Min
When approached for comment, a man staying in the tutor's house told a Shin Min reporter that the tutor was unwilling to be interviewed by the media.
She also didn't answer the reporter's calls and messages.
Shin Min also reported that the police confirmed a report was lodged, and investigations are ongoing.
Top image from Shin Min Daily News.