Jiangsu to regulate cram school chaos
A cartoon depicts the contradictions among schools, students and parents. The school wants to lift the heavy workload of students while their parents oppose any changes. [Photo/VCG]
Following the State Council's guidelines this August to carry out comprehensive inspections of private-tuition cram schools across the country, the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education announced a series of measures to regulate the market on Dec 3.
Cram schools will now have to obtain licenses from local education departments and any kind of unapproved tutoring in the name of home schooling, after-school care, consultation or cultural immersion will no longer be tolerated.
Primary and secondary schools, as well as in-service teachers, shall not open up or engage in any such kind of business. Collaboration between public and cram schools will also be strictly prohibited. Once checked and verified, relevant personnel will be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law, and teachers' certificates will be cancelled.
To carry out academic training in the fields of Chinese, math, English, physics, chemistry and biology, authorized cram schools shall first register their training plans, target students and class hours with local departments before announcing them to the general public. The training time must be outside of school hours and finish before 8:30pm.
Tuition expenditure charging cycles shall be narrowed to less than three months, as fees paid by parents at one time are usually for a semester or even an academic school year of study, placing undue financial burdens on families.
The government's tight and impartial repsonse reflects the current chaos in the local tutoring market, which has "derailed" from its original intention of helping students in genuine need of academic performance improvement to a mass-marketed or even essential part of student life, leading to peer pressure among students and competition among parents.