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China launches strict crackdown on private tuition by banning online teaching and sessions in certain locations

China launches strict crackdown on private tuition by banning online teaching and sessions in certain locations
China’s Ministry of Education has banned tutors from conducting sessions online and in unauthorized locations off campus, to stop individuals profiting from private teaching after incidences of people disguising tuition.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Education confirmed the bar on online teaching and certain off-campus sessions in a statement, which said that tuition had moved “underground” and had been changing its form “to avoid supervision.”

The remarks come after incidences of training institutions becoming creative in their efforts to mask their services under the guise of “high-end housekeeping” or “study tour and research,” to name a few. In turn, the ministry argued that this “affects the implementation of policies and causes adverse effects.”

The ministry insists that all tuition conducted outside of the gates of educational institutions must be carried out by licensed, qualified teachers and in registered venues. Individual or group training away from authorized locations – in venues such as residential buildings, hotels, and cafes – are a no-go under the regulations.

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Online after-school tutoring through instant messaging, video, livestreaming, and other means is also a violation of the rules.

At the end of July, the government prohibited tutoring for profit in any school subject, as well as offering classes on weekends or holidays. Under the new laws, all institutions offering teaching services of subjects on the academic syllabus will be required to register as non-profit organizations.

The move, named the ‘double reduction policy’, aims to alleviate the pressure on China’s young students, as well as their parents. Beijing hopes that such a crackdown on tuition will boost the country’s birth rate by lowering family costs.

Private tuition is a profitable and popular business in China, with 75% of students aged between six to 18 attending after school classes in 2016, as per the most recent figures from the Chinese Society of Education. The industry was worth upwards of $100 billion dollars, with online tutoring accounting for some $40 billion.

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