Thursday, December 29, 2011

More tightening of regulations on private education

Only 353 private schools are left after the last round of flushing. The number of schools left standing in another round of qualification checks and tightening will see the number shrinks to about 100. For the moment, 200 of the schools are only operating under a one year provisional license issued by the Council of Private Education and they have to satisfy more stringent criteria if their licenses are to be extended.

The stage is set for the number of private schools to go down. And this is not a bad thing really as those that survived the cut will be stronger and more credible operators, with better management and finances. Foreign students could feel safer to register in private schools here by next year and have lesser fear of being thrown out of their classes midway for all the bad reasons.

The restructuring and strict regulations will be for the better of everyone. This is what Singapore stood for. The deregulation craze to allow shady characters to do as they pleased was an uncalled for exuberance that Singapore had to pay a high price for it. Hope this crazy deregulation thing will be tighten across other industries as well. When people are left on their own to make money at all costs, the real thugs beneath the thin fa├žade of civility will surface quickly to the demise of the industry, but not after leaving behind a carnage of victims.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another private school closes

Tyndale Institute, run by a Guo Qiao Li, is closing and Guo Qiao Li will be facing charges of breaking private education regulations. She had operated two other schools that were also in trouble. The school was conducting first degree course linked to University of Sunderland in England. In 2008, her other school, Shines College also ran foul of the regulations and she and her managers were charged in court.

About 200 students were affected and efforts are being made to transfer them to other private schools. Half of the students are foreigners and have paid fees of $10,000 to $20,000 each. The tightening of regulations and enforcement had helped in a big way to protect the tuition fees of these students and to minimize disruption in their studies. It could have been worst for the students if the system is not in place for such failures.

At its peak there were more than 1,000 private schools operating here. The stringent regulations introduced to curb unreliable operators have shrunk the number of private schools to 350 today. The state of private schools in the island has stabilized somewhat but it will take more time to weed out all the weak operators and provide students with a more reliable education environment here.