As more private schools close down in Singapore, the Singapore government is now rushing to implement more stringent rules for Singapore’s private schools.
People who have read my blog before know that I don’t think much of Singapore’s desire to be an education hub in the region. I never believe in some of the pretty outlandish claims by the Singapore government on the benefits of private education (more education is the way to beat inflation anyone?), but the problem is that a lot of Singaporeans do.
A lot of Singaporeans students are now left with no where to turn as the schools closed down and the money they paid to the private school disappeared. So in my opinion, more stringent rules for the private education sector are long overdue. However I have serious doubts about the new Private Education Bill that authorities hope will do the job.
From what I read so far, under the new bill a new EduTrust scheme will take over the current CASETrust scheme in dealing with private schools in Singapore. Under EduTrust, the focus will be on the school’s financial health and academic processes. All good so far but the big problem I see is that EduTrust is ‘supposed’ to take over CASETrust and CASETrust is a total joke. Not only that, what’s worse is that the EduTrust scheme is VOLUNTARY!
Under EduTrust, there is an enforcement act that requires the managers of the private schools to make transitory plans for the students if the private school closed down. How is the Education Ministry supposed to look after private schools and force them to transfer students when the scheme they will be using is voluntary? Does that make sense to anyone?
If the Education Ministry really wants to crack down on errant private schools, they must NOT make it voluntary. It makes no sense.