Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) Deputy Director Leong Wai Kei said on Saturday that her bureau had already finished its investigation into the alleged sexual abuse at the private D. Jose da Costa Nunes Kindergarten, adding that the bureau would release its findings and report this week.
Leong made the remarks on the sidelines of a public activity at The Plaza Restaurant in Zape.
On May 10, the Portuguese-language daily Hoje Macau broke the news about the alleged sexual abuse at D. Jose da Costa Nunes Kindergarten in Avenida de Sidonio Pais, a kindergarten owned and run by the Macanese Education Promotion Association (APIM).
Shortly after the newspaper’s report, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng confirmed that the kindergarten had received at least one complaint from a parent about suspected sexual abuse last October. Tam then also said that the kindergarten had failed to report the alleged incident to the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau.
The Education and Youth Affairs Bureau ordered the kindergarten to submit a report on the matter by May 17 to assist in the official investigation whether anybody at the kindergarten should be held responsible for the alleged incidents. The bureau received the report on that day.
Leong in May said that the bureau was analysing the report submitted by the kindergarten, adding “the analysis would take about a month to complete”.
Prior to receiving the report from the kindergarten, DSEJ Director Lou Pak Sang said that if his bureau found the operating entity of the kindergarten to have been responsible for the alleged incidents, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau would punish it in accordance with regulations, adding that the harshest penalty was a compulsory shutdown of the school. On another occasion in June, Lou said that the incident was “an isolated case”.
A male suspect from the Philippines, who worked as a teaching assistant for the kindergarten, has been released on his own recognisance by the Public Prosecution Office. He was suspended by the kindergarten management shortly after the media report about the alleged incidents.