'Poly has no future': Teen defies parents to stay in school, crowdfunds $480 within a day

PHOTO: Pexels

Facing a looming deadline for payment, Twitter user Lo3ana17 reached out online last Thursday (Nov 18) hoping to crowdfund enough money to continue his polytechnic education.

His tweet was shared over 700 times and helped him raise just under $500 within a day. He wrote in his Twitter thread that his parents stopped paying his course fees in October as they felt that "poly has no future".

"What other choice do I have to continue my education? I'm only 17," the teen told AsiaOne. He is currently not schooling. 

He hopes to raise $6,200 — which is close to his course fees per academic year as a Singapore permanent resident.   

"I need to save up money in order to continue school and it’s really embarrassing for me to be making this a public scenario," he wrote in his tweet. He is currently working part-time as a safe distancing ambassador at a hospital to save up for school. 

He enrolled in April 2021, pursuing a diploma related to the infocomm and security sector. However, the teenager only managed to complete the first semester in his first year before his parents stopped paying his course fees.

In the Twitter thread, he said his parents were not keen on him taking the polytechnic route.

He told AsiaOne: "They asked me to take A-level as a private student or in an international school. My dad was initially okay [with me going to polytechnic].

"Then after that, my mum was like 'oh if you pay his poly fees I'm going back to Sri Lanka.'"

According to him, his dad did not want to break the family apart and thus agreed to stop paying his son's course fees.

Also, as a recipient of the Ministry of Education Tuition Grant, the teen said he has to pay a penalty of over $8,000 as he did not complete his course.

His tweet has gained traction with a number of Twitter users doing what they can to help out — either donating a small sum of money or giving advice on where Lo3ana17 can seek help.

Screengrab from Twitter
Screengrab from Twitter

From his replies, he is grateful to those who filled his Twitter thread with positivity.

He told AsiaOne that he has reached out to several MPs as well as his polytechnic to explain his predicament, in hopes of getting a helping hand.

In response to AsiaOne's queries, a spokesperson from the polytechnic said: "The polytechnic is in touch with the ex-student to render assistance."

ALSO READ: Man overcomes setbacks to earn diploma after dropping out of poly 15 years ago

amierul@asiaone.com