THE Education Ministry (MOE) plans to introduce a Private Education Bill in Parliament by the end of 2008, in a bid to enhance Singapore's private education sector.
This will allow new players to enter and develop, while giving incentives for market players to raise standards over time.
This was announced in Parliament on Tuesday by Minister of State for Education Gan Kim Yong.
A new Private Education Act will be introduced to strengthen the existing registration framework and enforcement provisions, along with a quality certification scheme called 'EduTrust'.
Also to be set up is an independent council for private education to implement the regulatory framework, which will be amended to require that registration for private schools be renewed periodically.
This is to encourage them to consistently maintain standards.
The council will be chaired by Mr Lin Cheng Ton, former principal and CEO of Nanyang Polytechnic. Its members will be made up of experts from the education, quality assurance and business fields.
In addition, MOE will put in place graduated penalties - including fines - for errant private education providers.
Under EduTrust, there will be new requirements over and above those needed under CaseTrust, including minimum standards of academic processes.
Once EduTrust is launched in early 2009, the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) will cease to offer CaseTrust for Education.
EduTrust will be mandatory for private schools that wish to enrol foreign students. It will be held accountable for maintaining certain student welfare and academic standards across the board.