Employee cleared of 'misleading' IDA

Employee cleared of 'misleading' IDA

THE Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) employee who obtained an unaccredited master's degree has been cleared of claims that she misled her employer when applying for a job.

After finishing its investigations, the IDA said yesterday it is satisfied that applications consultant Nisha Padmanabhan did not deceive the agency by listing the MBA from Web-based Southern Pacific University, an alleged diploma mill, in her resume.

The IDA added that Ms Padmanabhan's employment was not based on her MBA, as her position required only a bachelor's degree, and that it also considered her relevant skills and prior work experience.

Ms Padmanabhan, who has a bachelor's in electronics and telecommunication from the University of Mumbai in India, joined the IDA last year.

"She had genuinely believed her MBA programme to be bona fide, and she had put in effort to obtain the qualification," the IDA said.

Earlier this month, netizens criticised the agency for hiring Ms Padmanabhan despite the "phoney" qualification from Southern Pacific University, which was closed in the United States by a court order.

Meanwhile, claims that a senior polytechnic lecturer obtained a fake master's degree have been circulating on Internet forums and social media.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) media lecturer Marc Jonet, 52, received a master's in education from non-accredited, online-based Breyer State University three years ago, according to his personal bio, listed on the school's website and his LinkedIn page. Based on the biodata, he is supposedly graduating from the same institution with a doctorate in psychology later this year.

Mr Jonet, who is from Belgium, has been with NP's School of Film and Media Studies for about 15 years.

In a statement on Wednesday, the polytechnic said Mr Jonet was hired based on his prior work experience covering more than 10 years, which included editing and post-production work.

NP added that Mr Jonet pursued the master's programme of his own accord, and that it was not a job requirement and had no bearing on his progression at the institution.


This article was first published on April 25, 2015.
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