August 1st, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   Comments Off on SYDNEY COLLEGE SHUT DOWN
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Sterling College, Sydney has been closed down, has also sacked 35 staff members teaching cookery, social welfare, IT and other courses. International students, whose number exceeds 550, have been left high and dry. Most of them had paid their fees a couple of weeks ago.

As per press reports, Pinky Manhas, a student said that she stands to loose 18,000 dollars and has spent 18 months in the commercial cookery diploma. The lives of thousands of Indian students in Australia are uncertain and complicated due to the racial attacks on them as well as closure of colleges.

Amit Menghani, President of Federation of Indian Students in Australia, said that the Australian government is monitoring 16 – 18 colleges there who have reportedly indulged in educational irregularities. He said and I quote, “There is a big question mark on the faces of students. They are getting tense as most of them are in the middle or the fag end of their course.”

Sterling College is the third college to be closed in the last 18 months leaving more than 2000 students in the lurch. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says in a press release and I quote, “We have a comprehensive safety net for international students. If they are enrolled at a college that closes, then we have a guarantee that we will find them a comparable place at another provider, or if it is not possible, then their fees will be refunded.”

Wow! Their fees will be refunded. But how in God’s name will you refund them their 18 or so months which have been wasted for no fault of theirs? Can you even realize the agony and trauma the effected students in Australia and their parents back home in India, are going through? Why don’t you, first, put your own house in order and then invite students to study there? And, what do you propose to do with the Head of this college?

The press release also added that “A major operation is underway in relation to alleged fraudulent references. Under the Australian criminal and migration legislation there are serious penalties for the offence of forgery and false papers.”

The Australian government is also in touch with people who were on the show in ABC TV ‘Four Corners’ programme telecast a week earlier. Wendy Carlisle, a reporter said that “Since the shows telecast, search warrants were executed at the offices of Sanjay Deshwal”. She added that this programme was a joint operation by the Australian Police and Department of Immigration and Education.

We still don’t know whether any action has been initiated against Sam Tejani whose name also prominently figured in the programme.

It appears that Australian Education system is sitting on a virtual time bomb. Things tend to become difficult in the foreseeable future and impossible to handle, keeping the magnitude of the problem in mind.
 Ravi Matah

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