An interim Council for Private Education (CPE) has been set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to oversee the implementation of a new regulatory regime for the private education sector.
It seeks to strike a balance between ensuring that a reasonable level of educational standard is maintained by private schools, and providing incentives for them to upgrade and set higher standards of educational excellence.
The new regulatory regime will clearly spell out the obligations and requirements of private schools through its mandatory registration framework, and will also comprise a voluntary quality assurance scheme called EduTrust.
The enhanced mandatory registration framework seeks to address existing industry problems relating to poor administration, misrepresentation and even 'selling' of qualifications.
The EduTrust scheme involves a more stringent assessment process, which looks at academic quality, student welfare, soundness of finances and school administration of the PEIs
As announced during MOE's 2009 Committee of Supply Debate, a Private Education (PE) Bill will be moved in Parliament to institute the new regulatory regime and to formally establish the CPE.
The PE Bill will cover private education institutions (PEIs) that fall under three broad categories:
- Those offering degree, diploma or full-time certification programmes at the post-secondary level;
- Those offering full-time preparatory courses for the purpose of preparing students for entrance/ placement tests for joining our mainstream schools, or for external examinations; and
- Foreign System Schools (FSS).
The pro-tem Council is chaired by Mr Lin Cheng Ton, CEO of Nanyang Polytechnic International, and comprises experienced individuals from the fields of education, quality assurance, business, as well as economic agencies overseeing the promotion of the private education sector.
Public consultation with industry players and members of the public on the key features of the new regulatory regime will take place from 11 March to 6 May 2009. The public are invited to give their feedback at the following URL: http://www.moe.gov.sg/private-education-public-consultation/.