To make parents’ lives easier, the government is considering prolonging mandatory maternity leave, putting in place paternity leave, and revising labour laws so the rights of working mothers are more protected.
The government also sees the urgent need to bring down the cost and stress of education for Chinese families in order for the policy to be effective.
High regard for education (see blog Chinese Education System Explained), paired with the right disposable income of middle-class families, has spurred a flourishing private tutoring industry.
Parents send their children one tutoring class after another, learning subjects such as arts, science, and languages. Often, children are asked to learn content ahead of their expected age. It is not uncommon for a pre-school child to learn a grade 1-3 curriculum so that he/she does not fall behind at the starting line. (不要输在起跑线上)
Source of image: https://www.sohu.com/a/59552023_350572
Since 2020, several measures have come out with the aim to reduce stress for children and their parents, in both public and private education sectors. (see blog The New Chinese Education Policies Every ESL Teacher Ought to Know)
In April 2021, the Ministry of Education gave guidance forbidding the introduction of the primary school curriculum into kindergartens.
In May 2021, the Beijing local government issued a notice to control how private tutoring companies can advertise their educational products. Any promotional message which adds anxiety or has misleading information will be banned. In short, companies are banned from selling anxiety and stress.
In June 2021, the law on the protection of minors was revised. One of the changes is to forbid educational institutions (public and private) to impose a primary school curriculum on pre-school children. The Ministry of Education announced in the same month that schools can no longer rank students’ academic results.
These latest measures and regulations are to reduce the burden of education on average children (of all ages) and their parents. So, what do they mean for the tutoring industry? More important, you might ask ‘if I teach Chinese students English online, what do these policy changes mean to teachers like me?’