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March 31, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Students to be placed in other schools after institution closes

THE city's education authority will arrange admittance to other schools for 40 students who were told to go home after the International Division of Pudong Muyangren Bilingual School closed unexpectedly on Tuesday.

Officials from the education watchdog said yesterday that it appears to be the latest example in a string of similar scandals involving private schools that operate without a license, closing suddenly.

The watchdog stressed that government departments need to jointly monitor private schools since they do not fall solely under the authority of the education bureau.

"Getting the children back in class is the top priority," Tang Tao, an official with the Pudong education bureau, said. "We have a list of schools which have agreed to admit the students, including private international schools as well as public schools' international campuses. The arrangements will likely be settled (by today)."

A mother, surnamed Qiao, told Shanghai Daily her son could be enrolled at Jincai High School, which has a strong reputation, in Pudong and that she agreed.

"So far, we have not been told if we need to pay for the new school," Qiao said.

The head teacher and investor of International Division of Pudong Muyangren Bilingual School remained out of contact with parents.

Parents said they had never heard from school managers of any plan to close.

The education watchdog said yesterday they had earlier ordered the head teacher to prepare for the school's closure because it didn't have a license. However, the head teacher continued collecting tuition fees for the current semester, which started in January. Tuition was 33,000 yuan (US$5,033) per student per semester.

In February, the head teacher divorced her husband. Before the divorce, nearly all of her property had been transferred to her husband, according to the education watchdog's investigation.

"Now she claims she has not a penny left," Tang said.

The education authority said the investigation would continue once all of the affected students have been placed in other schools.

"We suspect fraud," said Tang, adding the police would be contacted if necessary.

The education authority said the school was unlicensed and, contrary to its claims, was not affiliated to Muyangren Private School.

An official at this school denied any relationship between the two institutions, investigators said.


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