Kings International Business School (KIBS) will have its registration cancelled for contravening the Private Education Act, the Council for Private Education (CPE) announced on Monday (Apr 20).
In a news release, CPE said it investigated and found evidence that the private business school had “offered and awarded some students with diplomas in maritime studies without requiring class attendance or assessment”.
This is the first time a private education institution (PEI) will have its registration cancelled for issuing diplomas without ensuring that students had received proper instruction and assessment, since the establishment of CPE in December 2009, the Council said.
The business school, located in Bukit Merah Central, offers diplomas not just in maritime studies, but in business management as well.
Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, the school maintained that the quality of its education is high, and said it was surprised by the sudden notice of cancellation.
It added that last year, it had received a four-year extension to the Enhanced Registration Framework – a document which is needed to show it meets mandatory requirements as well as legislative obligations. It said that most institutions its size receive yearly extensions.
The school claimed the cohort in question attended maritime diploma courses between 2013 and 2014.
Ms Denise Pek, director at KIBS, said: “The majority of maritime cohorts are shift workers. They support their families and work round-the-clock. When they cannot attend, they will inform the school and we will provide them with make-up lessons – and all this is out of goodwill from the school with no charges at all. The students accommodate their timings to meet with us so they can pass their assessments.”
She also said that the school provided attendance sheet logs to the CPE for its investigations, which it said started in October last year.
The school has about 20 part-time lecturers and five full-time staff, and the decision will also impact about 40 local students, most of whom are from the maritime industry.
CPE said KIBS will have its registration cancelled from May 5 but it will not be allowed to offer and conduct private education courses with immediate effect. However, KIBS said it will be speaking to students on this matter to reach a consensus and it will continue conducting classes this week, as the notice it received from CPE did not say so.
CPE said it has directed KIBS to give refunds to its students, or to help arrange for them to continue their course at another suitable private education institution. Based on available records, there are 10 existing students taking diploma courses as KIBS as of Feb 11, CPE said.
“While the vast majority of PEIs are bona fide education providers, we must continue to be vigilant to guard against such egregious players as what they do casts doubt on the integrity of the qualifications of PEI graduates,” said CPE Chief Executive Brandon Lee.
“It also is unfortunate that some of the students chose to take up KIBS’ offer, instead of reporting them to CPE, implicating genuine students who took lessons in the process.”
CPE advises members of the public to be cautious of offers for certification without having to attend classes, or take examinations or tests. They can also report such activities to CPE at 65 6592 2108 or via email at [email protected]