Nov 19, 2012

Vietnam - Melior case shows big loopholes in management

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VietNamNet Bridge – While the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in May 2012, imposed punishment and prohibited Melior Business School providing university and junior college training services, in August 2012, the HCM City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs granted the license allowing the school providing vocational training services.

Mismanagement lends a hand to crime

By granting the license, the labor department has given a reason to the school to exist, collect tuitions from learners and… disappear.

In May 2012, when releasing the decision on imposing punishment on Melior School, MOET sent a dispatch to the HCM City People’s Committee, requesting to supervise the implementation of the decision.

However, on October 11, MOET’s inspectors found out that the school still provided university and junior college training services, according to Thanh Nien. Therefore, they released a decision on imposing punishment for the second time, while requesting the city’s authorities to revoke the licenses granted before to Melior and three other schools, namely SIBME, ERC and IRA.

Only on October 27, the HCM City People’s Committee released a document to the education, labor, planning and investment departments, and the police, instructing to revoke the licenses.

The education department was asked to lead the works. Thirteen days later (November 9), did the department asked for the cooperation from other relevant departments.

The complicated procedures have provided a “golden opportunity” to Melior’s leaders to exist and appropriate learners’ money.

After the news about the escape of Melior’s leaders, Pham Ngoc Thanh, Deputy Director of the HCM City Education and Training Department, when asked what the department would do, answered the reporters that he was still consulting with relevant departments.

Meanwhile, the labor department, when asked why it still granted license to Melior after the MOET’s punishment decision, said that the school then promised to conduct remedial treatment.

As such, when relevant departments were still busy meeting to discuss the proposal by MOET to revoke the licenses of the three schools, Melior’s leader had enough time to collect money and escape.

Pham Ngoc Thanh, Deputy Director of the HCM City Education and Training Department explained that the department only “takes care” for foreign and informatics centers, while vocational schools and centers are licensed by the labor department.

Foreign director escaped, management agencies didn’t know

On November 12, hundreds of students gathered at the school to ask money back after hearing about the escape of Cheng Sim Kok, Director of the school.

Vo Phuoc Nguyen, a senior official of the HCM City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, on November 13 said in order to protect learners’ interest, the department on November 12 sent a dispatch to the city’s authorities requesting to instruct relevant agencies to block the bank account of Melior Vietnam Company Ltd and prevent Cheng Sim Kok’s exit from the country.

However, the company’s bank account has become empty, while the director had left Vietnam before the information about the school close was spread out.

Also according to Nguyen, relevant departments all have said that it is necessary to force the leaders of Melior School to pay tuitions back to learners. However, since the company’s representative has escaped, the only thing the agencies can do is to ask for the help of the Singaporean Consulate General in tracking down Cheng Sim Kok.

Le Huyen

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