China to unveil tough new rules for private tutoring industry: sources
HONG KONG: China is set to unveil a much tougher-than-expected crackdown on the country’s $ 120 billion private tutoring industry, four sources told Reuters, including bans on private tutoring. ‘trial tutoring and advertising restrictions.
The new rules, which aim to both ease the pressure on schoolchildren and increase the country’s birth rate by lowering the cost of living for families, could be announced as early as next week and take effect next month, said two of the people with knowledge of the plans.
The imposition of a trial ban on online and offline private lessons during the summer and winter holidays in Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities, cited by the sources, goes much further than the planned measures first reported by Reuters last month.
“The new rules would be stricter than expected,” said one of the sources, a person close to the regulators drafting the new rules. “The industry should prepare for the worst.
The ban on probationary vacations, which comes on top of plans to ban online and offline tutoring on weekends during school time, could deprive businesses of private tutoring from 70 to 80% of their employees. annual income, two of the sources said.
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The changes being developed by the Department of Education and other authorities target the fierce tutoring market for K-12 students, or K-12 students, an industry that has grown rapidly in recent years.
Over 75% of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students – aged around 6 to 18 – in China took after-school tutoring classes in 2016, according to the latest figures from the China Education Society , and anecdotal evidence suggests the percentage has increased.
The planned crackdown on the industry, which Reuters had previously forced at least one large company providing tutoring services to freeze a billion-dollar fundraiser, is being led from above, three of the sources said. .
President Xi Jinping said last week that schools should be responsible for student learning, rather than tutoring companies.
“Education departments are correcting this phenomenon,” Xi Jinping said.
The State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Education did not respond to requests for comment.
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The ban on weekend vacations and private lessons would be enforced in nine municipalities and provinces, including Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangsu, for twelve months before being extended nationwide, one of the sources said.
“Although the rules should be adopted on a trial basis, you would be surprised if other areas do not follow suit and even initiate stricter regulations to be politically correct,” the source said.
Tutoring on weekdays, which currently lasts until 8-9 p.m., would be limited to the trial areas, two of the sources said.
“Excessive” advertising online and offline, especially in mainstream media and public places, will be banned, two of the sources said, adding that tuition fees would be tightly controlled.
The four sources declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
New York-listed shares of Chinese private tutoring companies TAL Education Group, New Oriental Education & Technology Group and Gaotu Techedu Inc closed down 12.3%, 17% and 12.5% respectively on Wednesday.
As incomes rise in China, affluent families are eager to see their children succeed in an increasingly competitive society.
The competition is so fierce that it has spawned a popular term in parenting circles. Jiwa, or “baby chicken,” refers to anxious parents who inject energy into their children’s “chicken blood” by instructing them in extracurricular classes.
In addition to protecting stressed students, Beijing sees the changes as a financial incentive for couples to have more children as it seeks to support a rapidly falling birth rate, the sources said.
The cost of raising a child in urban China, of which education is a big part, has deterred many expectant parents.
The cost for an ordinary family to raise a child has dropped from 490,000 yuan (US $ 76,600) cited in a 2005 state think tank report to nearly 2 million yuan last year. according to local media.
China’s population has grown over the past 10 years through 2020 at the slowest rate in decades, according to the country’s latest census last month, raising concerns that its shrinking workforce may not be able to support an increasingly older population.