About $40,000 meant for students’ learning materials allegedly misappropriated by teacher

November 29, 2018
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Students at Woodgrove Secondary School had handed over cash for learning materials but their English Head of Department (HOD) allegedly pocketed about $40,000 of the money.

Maslinda Zainal, 44, has been suspended. She is accused of two counts of criminal breach of trust, the court heard on Wednesday (Nov 28), the first day of her trial.

Between Jan 1 and Dec 31 2016, she allegedly misappropriated more than $21,000 in cash from the school. Then between Jan 1 to April 7 last year, she allegedly misappropriated $20,000 in cash.

The court heard that Maslinda joined the school in 2002 and became its English HOD four years later.

She was tasked to collect money from the students from their English teachers which was meant for their learning materials known as the Excel Packages.

She allegedly handed some of the cash to the school bookshop and misappropriated about $40,000.

Madam Jacqueline Chan Yen Ling, a subject head in the school was the first person to discover the discrepancies between the amount collected by the English department and the sum given in the bookshop’s invoice.

Madam Chan then asked the bookshop owner about the matter. The owner then showed her the invoice which reflected a significantly different amount collected from students.

The principal of Woodgrove Secondary School, Mr Chee Chit Yeng then informed the Ministry of Education discipline unit about the matter and made a police report in April last year.

Maslinda is out on bail of $30,000. The trial continues on Thursday.

If convicted of criminal breach of trust, Maslinda can be jailed up to 10 years and fined for each charge.

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