A Council for Private Education has been set up under the Private Education Act to enforce rules and regulations for private school operators. Starting on December 21, 2009, all Private Education Institutions (PEI) must register with the council to operate in or from Singapore.PEIs affected are those offering full-time preparatory courses for entrance or placement tests for entry into MOE schools or external examinations; programs that offer degrees or diplomas including online degree courses; and post-secondary courses that grant full-time certification.
Foreign system schools offering full-time primary or secondary international curriculum education are also required to register with the council. The regulations also extend to private education institutions offering full-time special education for students with disabilities and which do not receive any government subsidies.
PEIs currently registered under the Education Act will have a grace period of 18 months (until June 20, 2011) to comply with the new requirements. Those currently not registered under the Education Act are required to submit their applications for registration by Feb 20, 2010 to continue operation. PEIs that do not comply with the new regulations are liable for fines of up to $10,000 and up to 1 year of jail.
All of these new rules were a long time coming as more cases of fraudulent degrees surfaced in recent years. These new requirements will not only ensure the integrity of private schools and their curriculums offered, but also bring about credibility to Singapore as an education hub in Asia.
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