Revolutionary reform to jump-start new Chinese school year

China’s new policy aims at giving children more time to just be children. Photo by M W from Pixabay

A whole new world awaits Chinese kids when the country’s schools open beginning of September.  

During the summer holiday, the central government has formulated a strict new policy that the provincial and regional governments are now busy implementing. The new rules apply to the nine compulsory years of school in China.  

The aim is to put an end to the vicious spiral of ever-growing loads of after-school tutoring and homework.  

Lancy Jia, founder and CEO of Sumino Oy, goes as far as to call the new “double reduction policy” a “revolution in Chinese K12 education.” 

The new policy makes room for more art, physical activity, and play in the lives of Chinese kids, she says.  

Restrictions on foreign capital

Simply put, it bans companies from making money from teaching curriculum subjects. New private tutoring firms cannot register in China anymore, and online education platforms have to apply for new approval from authorities to continue their activities. 

Companies are also banned from raising capital, going public, or allowing foreign investors to hold stakes in the firms.  

“This means that only schools have the right to run subject-related courses. They will not anymore be run by private companies,” explains Jia. 

Teaching during weekends and public holidays is banned, and online and academic classes for children under the age of six are a no-go too.  

“For foreign educational companies targeting K12 in the area of compulsory subjects, this means that their market in China will shrink,” Jia deems.  

Burden off parents’ shoulders

With the new policy, the central government tries to lift some weight off Chinese parent’s shoulders. For years, many parents have felt obliged to push their kids to study from an early age and outside of school hours in order to make sure that their children would get into a good university later in life. 

One concern is that the pressure and economic burden of education could scare Chinese parents from having as many children as the new three-child policy allows them to.  

In the spring, China’s President Xi Jinping called after-school training services a “social problem” – one that the Chinese government is now trying to fix. 

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