Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sudden closure of Private School

School of Applied Studies, a small private school, closed suddenly due to financial difficulties. 300 students, both locals and foreigners, were left stranded. The fees for a diploma course by the School ranged from $13,500 to $36,000 for a degree.

The parents were angry, the students were lost and shocked. The staff has not collected their pay for two months. Many lives and aspirations were ruined. Never mind about the education hub status of the island. The students paid the money, went to study, in the hope of getting a qualification that will see them through their lives, to a job or profession. Now it is all uncertainty. Efforts are now being made to help the students to continue their studies in other institutions.

Is private education just another business and it success or failure something to live with? I think not. There is a heavy duty and responsibility to prevent young people from being caught in such a mess as it is their future that is at stake.

Badly constituted schools, fly by night schools, can do serious harm to the innocent youth. It is not simply another business, about profit and loss. There are social obligations, moral responsibility and human decency to prevent the young from being ripped off by unscrupulous operators whose main aim is to make money.

Schools, private or public, must be carefully regulated to prevent fraud and mismanagement. Schools that are churning out degrees and diplomas that are not recognized by the govt should not be allowed to operate here. If we know it is crap, we cannot allow it to operate. It is highly irresponsible to take the position that it is a willing buyer willing seller arrangement, caveat emptor.

Live up to your moral righteousness and duty to provide good, decent and credible education to anyone who seeks an education here. Eyes wide shut are unacceptable. It is very cruel and shameful to allow young people to invest their time and money only to end up with a piece of worthless paper, and all because responsible people chose to turn a blind eye.

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