Manager of unregistered private education institute fined $18,000

SINGAPORE - A manager of an unregistered private education provider has pleaded guilty to two counts of contraventions of the Private Education (PE) Act and its Regulations.

Mr Natarajan Panneer Selvam, a manager of Kalaibharathi International School Private Limited (KBI), was fined $18,000 for knowingly assisting an unregistered private education institution to provide private education, and for failing to comply with directions issued by the CPE to refund the course fees received from students.

Another manager of KBI, Ms Panneerselvam Susanna, was issued with a stern warning.

KBI had collected over $82,000 between Feb and June 2012 from 12 students who had enrolled for full-time studies under the Indian national primary/secondary school curriculum.

At the time, KBI was not a registered PEI as its application for registration was still being processed. KBI had been informed by the CPE that it must not advertise, collect fees, or conduct classes before its application for registration was approved.

KBI's application for registration was refused on Dec 13, 2012.

The CPE subsequently issued written directions for KBI to refund the full course fees to its students. When KBI did not comply with the directions, the CPE proceeded to file charges with the Magistrate's Court.

According to the Private Education Act, the punishment for each of the offence committed by Mr Selvam, he faces a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both. In the case of a continuing offence, there is a further fine not exceeding $1,000 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.