SINGAPORE: Two former managers of private education institution Kings International Business School (KIBS) have been convicted of offences under the Private Education (PE) act, said SkillsFuture Singapore in a press release on Thursday (Jul 4).
In April 2015, KIBS was found to have awarded students diplomas in maritime studies without requiring class attendance or assessment by the then-Council for Private Education (CPE), and had its registration cancelled with effect from May 5, 2015.
The CPE had further directed the former managers of KIBS to place-out existing students on their records or refund them the full course fees by Jul 3, 2015. However, KIBS did not comply with the direction, and failed to refund a total of S$174,138.50 in course fees to 34 students.
Pek Siew Gek was sentenced to a total of 10 weeks' jail after being convicted on Apr 24, 2019, of three offences under the PE act, including failing to comply with CPE's direction to refund or place out students, and provision of 10 false examination scripts and six false attendance lists to the CPE.
Tang Yudong was sentenced to four weeks' jail after being convicted on Jul 4, 2019, for failing to comply with CPE's direction to refund or place out students.
Ten other charges were taken into consideration during the sentencing.
The duo were also convicted of one charge each under the Penal Code on May 22, 2018 and sentenced on Jul 27, 2018. Their appeals against the conviction and sentence were dismissed on Jun 10, 2019.
“While the private education sector has improved over the years, we must remain vigilant against errant Private Education Institutions,” said Ms Hui Mei San, Group Director (Regulation, Fraud and Enforcement) of SkillsFuture Singapore.
"Members of the public should be cautious and not take up offers for certifications that do not require them to attend classes and/or take examinations, tests or other forms of assessment, and we would advise them to raise such cases to our attention."
The cancellation of KIBS’ registration was the first time since the establishment of CPE in December 2009 that a private education institution had its registration cancelled for issuing diplomas without ensuring that students had received proper instruction and assessment.