The Education Department is reminding students to check whether the schools, including tutorial centres, at which they intend to enrol or teach this summer, are registered under the Education Ordinance.
Under the Education Ordinance, any institution, organisation or establishment which provides education to eight or more students at any one time, or 20 or more students during any one day, is required to register with the department.
The ordinance also stipulates that any person who is the owner, or a manager of, or a teacher at an unregistered school will be guilty of an offence and will be liable for conviction to a fine of $25,000 and to two years' imprisonment.
A school that operates without registration may jeopardise the studies of the students. In addition, there is no control as to the safety of the premises, sani tary conditions and teacher qualifications.
Schools are required to display in a conspicuous place in each of their registered premises the registration certificate showing the name of school in English and Chinese, address, registration number and a fees certificate in respect of the courses, tuition fee per instalment and number of instalments.
Students should be particularly cautious with institutions which operate a chain of centres under the same name in different districts but with only some of the centres or courses properly registered.
A comprehensive school list for the 1998/99 school year is available at the department's Web site (http://www.info . gov.hk/ed).
Students teaching in unregistered schools, including tutorial centres, during the summer holidays may also be prosecuted.