Connect with us


Disgruntled parents urge 1-year lease extension over OWIS Suntec’s closure announcement

A group of parents launch online petition against One World International School’s abrupt announcement of the closure of its Suntec campus, advocating for one-year lease extension.



SINGAPORE: A collective of parents has initiated an online petition expressing their dissatisfaction with the One World International School (OWIS) Suntec school management’s abrupt announcement regarding the impending closure of the campus.

They are urging the management to extend the lease of the Suntec campus by one year.

The petition, posted on Wednesday (20 March) on, articulates the concerns of OWIS Suntec parents regarding the recent announcement of the campus closure.

SkillsFuture Singapore Board appointed the Committee for Private Education (CPE) to carry out its functions and powers relating to private education under the Private Education Act.

On 19 March, some parents first learned about the closure through an email from the principal, according to one parent speaking to Gutzy.

The parent shared that the principal forgot to inform all the parents, resulting in the rest finding out through group chats or from their children, who had heard about it from school friends.

Some of them had just enrolled in the course on 9 March during an open house, having been assured of the location’s convenience. They were shocked to learn about the closure only through the email sent.


Parents’ frustration with lack of transparency regarding campus closure

The petition, signed by 126, implores management to act ethically and professionally by providing at least a year’s notice rather than just a term’s notice.

“It is disheartening to know that you were aware all along of your growth plan to shut down the Suntec Campus once the Punggol Campus is ready, yet you hid this information from all existing parents and took admissions of new students without informing them about your imminent plans,” the petition wrote.

The petition highlighted that the sudden decision has left many parents in a difficult situation, specifically most of them won’t be able to secure seats at other schools at such short notice.

The parents argued that the alternative campuses offered by OWIS Suntec, which are located at extreme ends of Singapore, are not feasible for them.

They stressed that they enrolled their children at the central campus for a reason and highlighted the inconvenience and impracticality of relocating to distant campuses.

The parents believe that one year will allow them to make alternative arrangements for their children’s education without causing undue disruption or stress.

“We appeal to all founders and shareholders, including Atul Temurnikar, Gaurav Pant, and Kaustabh Bodhankar, to reconsider this decision in light of its impact on our children’s future.”

The petition draws a parallel with the closure of the Canadian International School’s Katong campus, commending the transparent and considerate manner in which it was managed.

“The school provided two years’ notice to all existing parents about the closure of their Campus, while also offering numerous perks such as free bus service to their Lakeside Campus. ”

“Additionally, they maintained honesty when addressing inquiries from parents about available school seats. How would you like to be remembered by your students and their parents?”

Parents’ concern: Geographical inconvenience and financial burden

In an email to Gutzy, a parent highlighted the disparity in protections between public and private schools, noting that parents of students in private institutions may lack the same level of support from the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Private schools, such as OWIS Suntec, operate under regulations of the Private Education Act and the CPE.

However, the resolution process through the CPE is perceived as protracted, with limited accessibility to committee members’ contact details.

Concerns arise regarding the geographical inconvenience and the financial burden associated with the alleged building fee, amounting to S$6000, for the Punggol digital campus.

“Punggol campus is called digital campus. It’s a financial burden for most of us,” the parent expressed dissatisfaction.

“The way the management is handling the transition feels like a heavy-handed tactic to recoup their investment, leaving us with little choice but to comply,” the parent remarked.

The parent who is in touch with the other affected parents further highlighted the emotional and logistical challenges this move imposes on families, stating, “It’s disheartening to see the school’s financial objectives seemingly taking precedence over the well-being and stability of its students and their families.”

A few years ago, when faced with the inability to renew its lease for the Katong campus, the Canadian International School managed the situation with professionalism and empathy, according to the same parent.

The parent noted that the school informed all existing parents two years in advance about the impending closure and was transparent with prospective parents about the situation during new admission inquiries. This approach starkly contrasts with their experiences at OWIS, highlighting a different method of handling similar challenges within educational institutions.

The parent’s email also highlighted that they talked to Suntec Convention Centre and confirmed that the space is available for rent.

In an email response seen by Gutzy, James Sweeney, Head of School at OWIS Nanyang and Suntec campuses, acknowledged parental concerns and assured them that their message had been received and taken seriously.

He emphasized the school’s commitment to maintaining “open lines of communication” and promised to keep the parents updated on any developments related to the issue.

However, despite this reassurance, some parents remain sceptical about the effectiveness of discussions with the Principal or school management.

Instead, there is a growing sentiment among parents in favour of collective action and media involvement to exert pressure on the school to extend the lease by one year, providing more time for alternative arrangements.

Publicly available information indicates that OWIS Suntec was founded in August 2021 with a capacity of 270 students.

By 2022, it had approximately 180 students and offered education from Early Childhood through Grade 5.

According to a parent’s response, it was noted that SkillsFuture is investigating the matter.

In addition to OWIS, Gutzy has also written to SkillsFuture seeking further clarification on whether complaints from parents have been received. The response will be updated in this post when received.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is completely a fraud. Enrolling kids at Suntec campus at the beginning of the international school term and then making parents pay extra $6000 per kid for the new campus at Punggol and forcing kids to go to Punggol. It’s like making the parents fund their new project. OWIS should be more transparent with their words and actions. This is very unethical of the OWIS management and shame on them.

The school should explain to the parents. Communication is the key.

I know the school is owned by Indians. Are they some Indian Mafia to operate like this and force parents to fund their business for free? What a joke! Why is MOE allowing this here.

Surprising that there are no MOE regulations in SG(such a well run country) laying down minimum notice period requirements for schools when they move, or close down, etc. I hope they take action against the errant, irresponsible founders of this school.

It may not have much to do with the islanders but it tarnishes Singapore’s reputation. How can a school deceive parents and play with the future of small children. Authorities should take action against them.

Nothing to do with Islanders.

Islanders more concerned about how much $$ is needed to survive in the most expensive city in the world!

This is unethical behaviour and should not be condoned.

The MOE must say so in no uncertain terms to the school that such behaviour is unacceptable and that it is expected that the school will do what is necessary to protect both the parents and their children.