Education | Fines for private school violations to be reduced

The local government has decided to reduce its fines for private schools that commit administrative violations, the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL) reported yesterday. The decision came following a meeting with some government representatives, in which the amendment of the bill for Private Schools of Non-Tertiary Education was discussed.

Chairman of the Committee, Chan Chak Mo, reported the latest amendment to the bill to the media. In total, four amendments have been made to the bill.

The government has suggested imposing a fine on private schools when they fail to fill vacancies on the board of the school within 30 days. The fine will range from MOP10,000 to MOP30,000.

According to Chan’s explanation, the proposal aims to prevent the board from operating unlawfully without a full team of seven.

The previous bill proposed a maximum fine of MOP1.5 million for different types of violations. The latest change will reduce that to a maximum of MOP1 million.

The penalties for other violations have also been proposed to be reduced from 500,000 patacas to between MOP10,000 and MOP100,000, depending on the type of violation.

The previous bill had also suggested that a school should inform a parent with a written document when the concerned student is absent from school.

However, considering the delay in transmitting the information via paper material, the government proposed that the school should inform a parent through electronic methods on the same day of the relevant student’s absence.

The new amendment added another proposal, which suggests the authorities should first ask schools to remedy administrative violations before issuing a fine.

This should occur in the following circumstances: when a school’s violation involves less serious legal matters; when the violation is not repeated and does not involve unsafe risks; and when the school makes promises to correct its violations.

Besides the four changes made to the bill, the government was also requested by the committee to provide further explanations regarding an article that says a non-profitable school can only transfer its assets, both immovable and movable properties, after the school is closed. Lawmakers wanted to know how public assets should be transferred in such a case.

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