I advise foreigners not to come to Singapore to study in the private schools.
Because their standards are low.
To:SPH,RELC, Ministry of Education and Education
Complaint about RELC
In May 2009, my daughter had her examinations organized by RELC, which is the representative of University of London external system. I was the only parent there with my daughter. So I knew what was going on. On one of the examination days, there was a need for temperature taking due to H1N1 outbreak. There was chaos because of the large number of students and there was no clear indication about where the temperature taking is. They just assumed that everyone, including the new students, knows where it was. They lacked the experience of handling emergencies which was what they should have acquired from the SARS outbreak a few years ago. They also had difficulty answering questions which was a basic skill. When they were asked questions which they had no answer, they either remained silence or repeated instructions, which was not answering the questions. For example, when I asked them if my daughter could use her own thermometer and what if the examination was to start without her, we received silence and repeated instructions. The examination was delayed for thirty to forty minutes. I felt that if I were to handle the situation, I might even do a better job than they did.
The invigilators took turns to go out of the examination room, causing disturbance to the candidates. One of them even eat and invigilate at the same time. This showed that they were not fit to invigilate. I wondered if they are even qualified invigilators.
On the days of examinations, there were many people coughing. On one of the days, even one of the invigilators was coughing. This shows that they didn't even bothered about the welfare of their colleagues. They did not separate the sick candidates from the sick ones despite the H1N1 outbreak. They did not even give the sick people masks to wear. Because of the large amount of viruses in the air, my daughter was down with flu for a week after her examinations even though she wore a mask to avoid catching the disease. The sick candidates were not separated from the rest (when H1N1 was widespread and people with suspected signs of H1N1 must be quarantined),when all the other schools knew that they must do so. I felt that they did not bother to care about the welfare of the candidates. All they ever cared about was to earn money in the name of providing education. The amount of money they collected from us was eight hundred and twenty-two dollars for only 2 papers. It was three times more than the fees collected from other country’s representatives of the same school, yet the quality is the same as third world countries. In my opinion was that they are vampires, cold and selfish and money-faced. When they had no idea about how to solve a problem or improve, they just ignore it and pretend that nothing had happened (when my daughter lodged a complaint against them, they ignored it thinking that what damage a 19 year old could do to them) or they pretend to bother only when we wrote to the Ministry of Education with some excuses. I am still not satisfied with their response.
From this event, I was utterly disappointed to find that the quality of education of private schools is this poor. A school with nearly ten thousand students in Singapore, yet there are so many flaws. The image of Singapore was destroyed completely because of black sheep like RELC. I suggest that the representative is to be changed and gotten rid of because after twenty years, they still have no experience. I feel that with their attitude and their inefficiency, it is likely that even after two hundred years, they will still be the way they are now, not improving. Perhaps it is already good news that they do not become worse than they are already now. Private schools like this should not be allowed to exist for even a second longer. Because the reputation of private schools is currently very low. We cannot allow it to be even lower that it already is. If not, more foreigners will decide not to come to Singapore to study because of them. Moreover, it will strike fear in the rest of the private schools and they may be motivated to improve, if they have pride. If not the private schools will still think that it is easy money.
I hope that actions will continue to be taken to improve the quality of private schools by getting rid of the poor quality ones and incidents like these will never happen again in the future. I also hope that organizations involved will be more willing to take responsibilities when they are in the wrong and instead of pushing the blame to other people, like kicking a ball during a match.