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July 20, 2013

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Home » Metro » Education

Private schools need 'gone bust fund'

LOCAL private schools and training centers must set aside funds to be used in the event of them going bust, under a city regulation introduced today.

This cash would ensure that students get refunds and teachers are still paid.

All local private training centers must set up a special bank account to deposit tuition fees before running any training courses, Yuan Wen, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, said yesterday.

"The new regulation can protect students and teachers from financial loss," Yuan said.

"It will also help the commission better supervise these private centers. Currently, a huge number are unsupervised."

Shanghai has more than 1,600 private training centers registered under the city's educational commission and the administration of industry and commerce.

However, there are also some 3,000 unregistered training institutes, said a commission official surnamed Yu.

And, up until now, if these went bust, students couldn't get refunds and teachers didn't get paid, Yu said.

Parents warned

"Most of the unregistered institutes operate under the names of educational consulting companies to get business licenses from the administration, but are actually running classes," he added.

Under the new regulation, these "consulting companies" must register with the educational commission or the administration, and set up the special bank account before resuming business, Yuan said.

Meanwhile, the city's consumer protection watchdog has warned parents to be vigilant over education scams, following a series of complaints.

Some education and training agencies delay classes, change teachers randomly or close without notice after collecting fees, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission said yesterday.

In one of the latest cases, a man surnamed Gu said he paid 18,000 yuan (US$2,903) for six maths classes for his daughter ahead of this year's college entrance exam in June.

But the quality of teaching was poor and six classes never took place.

Gu asked for a refund for the six classes, but the institution never responded.

In another case, a woman surnamed Yao complained that she was told she would have to pay 1,700 yuan fee to get a refund for an English course, even though the training center had earlier promised an unconditional refund.


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