Off-campus tutoring rules aim to improve students' growth, development

By Xu Xiaoxuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 30, 2021
Adjust font size:
Students practice volleyball during a physical education class as part of a daycare service during the summer vacation provided by Shuanghe No. 2 Middle School in Huaying, southwest China's Sichuan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Last month, Chinese authorities introduced a set of guidelines to ease the burden of excessive homework and off-campus tutoring on students undergoing the nine-year free compulsory education, which covers elementary and junior high school.

According to the guidelines, no more new off-campus tutoring institutions teaching curriculum subjects for students in compulsory education will be approved for establishment, and existing institutions are required to register as non-profits. Off-campus curriculum subject tutoring courses can also no longer be taught on national holidays.

These new directions have caused mixed responses among parents. 

In the coming fall semester, Ms. Xu's daughter will begin her third year of junior middle school in Beijing, one of the nine national pilot cities to implement the guidelines. 

Xu is anxious about the new policies. Her daughter used to attend extracurricular classes in math, English and geography, but all these classes have been suspended since the release of the document. "Based on the quality of teaching in my daughter's school, it will be hard for her to get into a top-tier university in the future," Xu said. "So, we'll have to turn to other channels, like one-to-one tutoring."

Xu hopes that the problems can be tackled from the root, for which the new guidelines do offer some instructions. These include promoting quality and balanced development of compulsory education, and improving the teaching quality in classrooms.  

Some parents, however, are in favor of the new policies. Ms. Zhou, a mother of a third grader, is one of them. Zhou said the new regulations made no difference to her child's studies, since her daughter doesn't participate in any off-campus classes in curriculum subjects. 

In her spare time - during this summer holiday, for example - apart from self-study and doing homework at home, Zhou's daughter usually reads, plays games, and attends dance classes.

Zhou thinks that tutoring institutions negatively affect the instincts and stamina of students and that the best education doesn't come from off-campus tutoring or getting a house in the right school district. Instead, Zhou believes that "the key is to cultivate children's initiative and increase their efficiency in learning." 

In addition to the influences on students and parents, the guidelines deal a heavy blow to the maladies afflicting the off-campus tutoring sector, including profiteering, unlicensed and excessive training, false advertising, and improper connections with schools. These problems may lead to students' declining physical fitness, increased psychological problems and heavy financial burdens on families. 

The new plans force training institutions to reshape themselves if they want to survive. For instance, VIPKid, a company which hires North American teachers to offer one-on-one online English courses to children aged 3-15 in China, is now seeking to move beyond school-level programs into English training for adults. It is also mulling over using Chinese teachers to provide online English courses.

Despite the mixed reaction, the goal of the new guidelines is to ease the pressure on students from competitive tutoring and alleviate parents' anxiety. In that way, children can grow healthily and develop in a more all-around manner. 

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from