Students who intend to attend courses over the summer holidays should be wary of unscrupulous operators. A warning about checking the credentials of educational institutions offering courses has been issued by both the Education Department and the Consumer Council. Senior Education Officer Tse Tak-on said the Education Department would exercise some control over private educational institutions, both in regard to their operation and the way they advertise their courses, to safeguard students' interests. When students see advertisements for summer courses, they should check the ads for the institution's registration number. Any institution that falsely claims to be registered with the Education Department commits an offence and could face a fine of up to $10,000, Mr Tse said. Students should note that some institutions may operate a chain of centres in various districts under the same name but with only some of the centres properly registered. An institution that operates without registration may jeopardise the studies of its students since there is no control in regard to the safety of the premises, sanitary conditions or teacher qualifications, Mr Tse said. Schools are expected to display their registration certificate showing the name of school in English and Chinese, address and registration number and a fees certificate in respect of the class, tuition fee per instalment, and number of instalments. By looking at the registration and fees certificates, students who wish to join an institution would know whether or not requirements set out in the Education Ordinance are complied with, Mr Tse said. Meanwhile, Chief Complaint and Advice Officer from the Consumer Council, Chan Wing-kai, advised students to check their fee receipt against the promises made by the institution they intended to join. Students may ask the institution to list in black and white on the receipt their assurances. These could range from free gifts to guarantees of good results at public examinations and qualified tutors teaching the course. If students feel they have been deceived by the institution, they may seek advice or help from the Consumer Council. Secondary schools are welcome to invite the Consumer Council to organise talks for their students to promote the awareness of their rights as consumers when they look for courses or jobs during the summer vacation.