China Bans For-Profit Tutoring in Core Education

  • China has banned for-profit tutoring in core education to rein in the country’s private education industry and improve school-life balance for families.
  • Dezan Shira & Associates experts suggest foreign-invested enterprises in for-profit tutoring in core education to stop engaging in such activities and change their registered scope accordingly.
  • Foreign-invested enterprises outside of the for-profit tutoring in core education should wait for further regulations.

 

China has banned for-profit tutoring in core education, following the release of strict new regulations on the lucrative sector.

On July 24, 2021, the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly released the Guidelines for Further Easing the Burden of Excessive Homework and Off-campus Tutoring for Students at the Stage of Compulsory Education.

 

中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅印发《关于进一步减轻义务教育阶段学生作业负担和校外培训负担的意见》

新华社北京7月24日电 近日,中共中央办公厅、国务院办公厅印发了《关于进一步减轻义务教育阶段学生作业负担和校外培训负担的意见》,并发出通知,要求各地区各部门结合实际认真贯彻落实。

《关于进一步减轻义务教育阶段学生作业负担和校外培训负担的意见》全文如下。

为深入贯彻党的十九大和十九届五中全会精神,切实提升学校育人水平,持续规范校外培训(包括线上培训和线下培训),有效减轻义务教育阶段学生过重作业负担和校外培训负担(以下简称“双减”),现提出如下意见。

一、总体要求

1.指导思想。坚持以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导,全面贯彻党的教育方针,落实立德树人根本任务,着眼建设高质量教育体系,强化学校教育主阵地作用,深化校外培训机构治理,坚决防止侵害群众利益行为,构建教育良好生态,有效缓解家长焦虑情绪,促进学生全面发展、健康成长。

2.工作原则。坚持学生为本、回应关切,遵循教育规律,着眼学生身心健康成长,保障学生休息权利,整体提升学校教育教学质量,积极回应社会关切与期盼,减轻家长负担;坚持依法治理、标本兼治,严格执行义务教育法、未成年人保护法等法律规定,加强源头治理、系统治理、综合治理;坚持政府主导、多方联动,强化政府统筹,落实部门职责,发挥学校主体作用,健全保障政策,明确家校社协同责任;坚持统筹推进、稳步实施,全面落实国家关于减轻学生过重学业负担有关规定,对重点难点问题先行试点,积极推广典型经验,确保“双减”工作平稳有序。

3.工作目标。学校教育教学质量和服务水平进一步提升,作业布置更加科学合理,学校课后服务基本满足学生需要,学生学习更好回归校园,校外培训机构培训行为全面规范。学生过重作业负担和校外培训负担、家庭教育支出和家长相应精力负担1年内有效减轻、3年内成效显著,人民群众教育满意度明显提升。

二、全面压减作业总量和时长,减轻学生过重作业负担

4.健全作业管理机制。学校要完善作业管理办法,加强学科组、年级组作业统筹,合理调控作业结构,确保难度不超国家课标。建立作业校内公示制度,加强质量监督。严禁给家长布置或变相布置作业,严禁要求家长检查、批改作业。

5.分类明确作业总量。学校要确保小学一、二年级不布置家庭书面作业,可在校内适当安排巩固练习;小学三至六年级书面作业平均完成时间不超过60分钟,初中书面作业平均完成时间不超过90分钟。

6.提高作业设计质量。发挥作业诊断、巩固、学情分析等功能,将作业设计纳入教研体系,系统设计符合年龄特点和学习规律、体现素质教育导向的基础性作业。鼓励布置分层、弹性和个性化作业,坚决克服机械、无效作业,杜绝重复性、惩罚性作业。

7.加强作业完成指导。教师要指导小学生在校内基本完成书面作业,初中生在校内完成大部分书面作业。教师要认真批改作业,及时做好反馈,加强面批讲解,认真分析学情,做好答疑辅导。不得要求学生自批自改作业。

8.科学利用课余时间。学校和家长要引导学生放学回家后完成剩余书面作业,进行必要的课业学习,从事力所能及的家务劳动,开展适宜的体育锻炼,开展阅读和文艺活动。个别学生经努力仍完不成书面作业的,也应按时就寝。引导学生合理使用电子产品,控制使用时长,保护视力健康,防止网络沉迷。家长要积极与孩子沟通,关注孩子心理情绪,帮助其养成良好学习生活习惯。寄宿制学校要统筹安排好课余学习生活。

三、提升学校课后服务水平,满足学生多样化需求

9.保证课后服务时间。学校要充分利用资源优势,有效实施各种课后育人活动,在校内满足学生多样化学习需求。引导学生自愿参加课后服务。课后服务结束时间原则上不早于当地正常下班时间;对有特殊需要的学生,学校应提供延时托管服务;初中学校工作日晚上可开设自习班。学校可统筹安排教师实行“弹性上下班制”。

10.提高课后服务质量。学校要制定课后服务实施方案,增强课后服务的吸引力。充分用好课后服务时间,指导学生认真完成作业,对学习有困难的学生进行补习辅导与答疑,为学有余力的学生拓展学习空间,开展丰富多彩的科普、文体、艺术、劳动、阅读、兴趣小组及社团活动。不得利用课后服务时间讲新课。

11.拓展课后服务渠道。课后服务一般由本校教师承担,也可聘请退休教师、具备资质的社会专业人员或志愿者提供。教育部门可组织区域内优秀教师到师资力量薄弱的学校开展课后服务。依法依规严肃查处教师校外有偿补课行为,直至撤销教师资格。充分利用社会资源,发挥好少年宫、青少年活动中心等校外活动场所在课后服务中的作用。

12.做强做优免费线上学习服务。教育部门要征集、开发丰富优质的线上教育教学资源,利用国家和各地教育教学资源平台以及优质学校网络平台,免费向学生提供高质量专题教育资源和覆盖各年级各学科的学习资源,推动教育资源均衡发展,促进教育公平。各地要积极创造条件,组织优秀教师开展免费在线互动交流答疑。各地各校要加大宣传推广使用力度,引导学生用好免费线上优质教育资源。

四、坚持从严治理,全面规范校外培训行为

13.坚持从严审批机构。各地不再审批新的面向义务教育阶段学生的学科类校外培训机构,现有学科类培训机构统一登记为非营利性机构。对原备案的线上学科类培训机构,改为审批制。各省(自治区、直辖市)要对已备案的线上学科类培训机构全面排查,并按标准重新办理审批手续。未通过审批的,取消原有备案登记和互联网信息服务业务经营许可证(ICP)。对非学科类培训机构,各地要区分体育、文化艺术、科技等类别,明确相应主管部门,分类制定标准、严格审批。依法依规严肃查处不具备相应资质条件、未经审批多址开展培训的校外培训机构。学科类培训机构一律不得上市融资,严禁资本化运作;上市公司不得通过股票市场融资投资学科类培训机构,不得通过发行股份或支付现金等方式购买学科类培训机构资产;外资不得通过兼并收购、受托经营、加盟连锁、利用可变利益实体等方式控股或参股学科类培训机构。已违规的,要进行清理整治。

14.规范培训服务行为。建立培训内容备案与监督制度,制定出台校外培训机构培训材料管理办法。严禁超标超前培训,严禁非学科类培训机构从事学科类培训,严禁提供境外教育课程。依法依规坚决查处超范围培训、培训质量良莠不齐、内容低俗违法、盗版侵权等突出问题。严格执行未成年人保护法有关规定,校外培训机构不得占用国家法定节假日、休息日及寒暑假期组织学科类培训。培训机构不得高薪挖抢学校教师;从事学科类培训的人员必须具备相应教师资格,并将教师资格信息在培训机构场所及网站显著位置公布;不得泄露家长和学生个人信息。根据市场需求、培训成本等因素确定培训机构收费项目和标准,向社会公示、接受监督。全面使用《中小学生校外培训服务合同(示范文本)》。进一步健全常态化排查机制,及时掌握校外培训机构情况及信息,完善“黑白名单”制度。

15.强化常态运营监管。严格控制资本过度涌入培训机构,培训机构融资及收费应主要用于培训业务经营,坚决禁止为推销业务以虚构原价、虚假折扣、虚假宣传等方式进行不正当竞争,依法依规坚决查处行业垄断行为。线上培训要注重保护学生视力,每课时不超过30分钟,课程间隔不少于10分钟,培训结束时间不晚于21点。积极探索利用人工智能技术合理控制学生连续线上培训时间。线上培训机构不得提供和传播“拍照搜题”等惰化学生思维能力、影响学生独立思考、违背教育教学规律的不良学习方法。聘请在境内的外籍人员要符合国家有关规定,严禁聘请在境外的外籍人员开展培训活动。

五、大力提升教育教学质量,确保学生在校内学足学好

16.促进义务教育优质均衡发展。各地要巩固义务教育基本均衡成果,积极开展义务教育优质均衡创建工作,促进新优质学校成长,扩大优质教育资源。积极推进集团化办学、学区化治理和城乡学校共同体建设,充分激发办学活力,整体提升学校办学水平,加快缩小城乡、区域、学校间教育水平差距。

17.提升课堂教学质量。教育部门要指导学校健全教学管理规程,优化教学方式,强化教学管理,提升学生在校学习效率。学校要开齐开足开好国家规定课程,积极推进幼小科学衔接,帮助学生做好入学准备,严格按课程标准零起点教学,做到应教尽教,确保学生达到国家规定的学业质量标准。学校不得随意增减课时、提高难度、加快进度;降低考试压力,改进考试方法,不得有提前结课备考、违规统考、考题超标、考试排名等行为;考试成绩呈现实行等级制,坚决克服唯分数的倾向。

18.深化高中招生改革。各地要积极完善基于初中学业水平考试成绩、结合综合素质评价的高中阶段学校招生录取模式,依据不同科目特点,完善考试方式和成绩呈现方式。坚持以学定考,进一步提升中考命题质量,防止偏题、怪题、超过课程标准的难题。逐步提高优质普通高中招生指标分配到区域内初中的比例,规范普通高中招生秩序,杜绝违规招生、恶性竞争。

19.纳入质量评价体系。地方各级党委和政府要树立正确政绩观,严禁下达升学指标或片面以升学率评价学校和教师。认真落实义务教育质量评价指南,将“双减”工作成效纳入县域和学校义务教育质量评价,把学生参加课后服务、校外培训及培训费用支出减少等情况作为重要评价内容。

六、强化配套治理,提升支撑保障能力

20.保障学校课后服务条件。各地要根据学生规模和中小学教职工编制标准,统筹核定编制,配足配齐教师。省级政府要制定学校课后服务经费保障办法,明确相关标准,采取财政补贴、服务性收费或代收费等方式,确保经费筹措到位。课后服务经费主要用于参与课后服务教师和相关人员的补助,有关部门在核定绩效工资总量时,应考虑教师参与课后服务的因素,把用于教师课后服务补助的经费额度,作为增量纳入绩效工资并设立相应项目,不作为次年正常核定绩效工资总量的基数;对聘请校外人员提供课后服务的,课后服务补助可按劳务费管理。教师参加课后服务的表现应作为职称评聘、表彰奖励和绩效工资分配的重要参考。

21.完善家校社协同机制。进一步明晰家校育人责任,密切家校沟通,创新协同方式,推进协同育人共同体建设。教育部门要会同妇联等部门,办好家长学校或网上家庭教育指导平台,推动社区家庭教育指导中心、服务站点建设,引导家长树立科学育儿观念,理性确定孩子成长预期,努力形成减负共识。

22.做好培训广告管控。中央有关部门、地方各级党委和政府要加强校外培训广告管理,确保主流媒体、新媒体、公共场所、居民区各类广告牌和网络平台等不刊登、不播发校外培训广告。不得在中小学校、幼儿园内开展商业广告活动,不得利用中小学和幼儿园的教材、教辅材料、练习册、文具、教具、校服、校车等发布或变相发布广告。依法依规严肃查处各种夸大培训效果、误导公众教育观念、制造家长焦虑的校外培训违法违规广告行为。

七、扎实做好试点探索,确保治理工作稳妥推进

23.明确试点工作要求。在全面开展治理工作的同时,确定北京市、上海市、沈阳市、广州市、成都市、郑州市、长治市、威海市、南通市为全国试点,其他省份至少选择1个地市开展试点,试点内容为第24、25、26条所列内容。

24.坚决压减学科类校外培训。对现有学科类培训机构重新审核登记,逐步大大压减,解决过多过滥问题;依法依规严肃查处存在不符合资质、管理混乱、借机敛财、虚假宣传、与学校勾连牟利等严重问题的机构。

25.合理利用校内外资源。鼓励有条件的学校在课余时间向学生提供兴趣类课后服务活动,供学生自主选择参加。课后服务不能满足部分学生发展兴趣特长等特殊需要的,可适当引进非学科类校外培训机构参与课后服务,由教育部门负责组织遴选,供学校选择使用,并建立评估退出机制,对出现服务水平低下、恶意在校招揽生源、不按规定提供服务、扰乱学校教育教学和招生秩序等问题的培训机构,坚决取消培训资质。

26.强化培训收费监管。坚持校外培训公益属性,充分考虑其涉及重大民生的特点,将义务教育阶段学科类校外培训收费纳入政府指导价管理,科学合理确定计价办法,明确收费标准,坚决遏制过高收费和过度逐利行为。通过第三方托管、风险储备金等方式,对校外培训机构预收费进行风险管控,加强对培训领域贷款的监管,有效预防“退费难”、“卷钱跑路”等问题发生。

八、精心组织实施,务求取得实效

27.全面系统做好部署。加强党对“双减”工作的领导,各省(自治区、直辖市)党委和政府要把“双减”工作作为重大民生工程,列入重要议事日程,纳入省(自治区、直辖市)党委教育工作领导小组重点任务,结合本地实际细化完善措施,确保“双减”工作落实落地。学校党组织要认真做好教师思想工作,充分调动广大教师积极性、创造性。校外培训机构要加强自身党建工作,发挥党组织战斗堡垒作用。

28.明确部门工作责任。教育部门要抓好统筹协调,会同有关部门加强对校外培训机构日常监管,指导学校做好“双减”有关工作;宣传、网信部门要加强舆论宣传引导,网信部门要配合教育、工业和信息化部门做好线上校外培训监管工作;机构编制部门要及时为中小学校补齐补足教师编制;发展改革部门要会同财政、教育等部门制定学校课后服务性或代收费标准,会同教育等部门制定试点地区校外培训机构收费指导政策;财政部门要加强学校课后服务经费保障;人力资源社会保障部门要做好教师绩效工资核定有关工作;民政部门要做好学科类培训机构登记工作;市场监管部门要做好非学科类培训机构登记工作和校外培训机构收费、广告、反垄断等方面监管工作,加大执法检查力度,会同教育部门依法依规严肃查处违法违规培训行为;政法部门要做好相关维护和谐稳定工作;公安部门要依法加强治安管理,联动开展情报信息搜集研判和预警预防,做好相关涉稳事件应急处置工作;人民银行、银保监、证监部门负责指导银行等机构做好校外培训机构预收费风险管控工作,清理整顿培训机构融资、上市等行为;其他相关部门按照各自职责负起责任、抓好落实。

29.联合开展专项治理行动。建立“双减”工作专门协调机制,集中组织开展专项治理行动。在教育部设立协调机制专门工作机构,做好统筹协调,加强对各地工作指导。各省(自治区、直辖市)要完善工作机制,建立专门工作机构,按照“双减”工作目标任务,明确专项治理行动的路线图、时间表和责任人。突出工作重点、关键环节、薄弱地区、重点对象等,开展全面排查整治。对违法违规行为要依法依规严惩重罚,形成警示震慑。

30.强化督促检查和宣传引导。将落实“双减”工作情况及实际成效,作为督查督办、漠视群众利益专项整治和政府履行教育职责督导评价的重要内容。建立责任追究机制,对责任不落实、措施不到位的地方、部门、学校及相关责任人要依法依规严肃追究责任。各地要设立监管平台和专门举报电话,畅通群众监督举报途径。各省(自治区、直辖市)要及时总结“双减”工作中的好经验好做法,并做好宣传推广。新闻媒体要坚持正确舆论导向,营造良好社会氛围。

各地在做好义务教育阶段学生“双减”工作的同时,还要统筹做好面向3至6岁学龄前儿童和普通高中学生的校外培训治理工作,不得开展面向学龄前儿童的线上培训,严禁以学前班、幼小衔接班、思维训练班等名义面向学龄前儿童开展线下学科类(含外语)培训。不再审批新的面向学龄前儿童的校外培训机构和面向普通高中学生的学科类校外培训机构。对面向普通高中学生的学科类培训机构的管理,参照本意见有关规定执行。

 

The guidelines include 30 measures on education sector reforms designed to improve education quality, ease homework burdens for students, and restrict private investment – both domestic and foreign – in the industry.

The new reforms overhaul the structure of China’s for-profit tutoring industry, where substantial consumer demand remains. To continue to operate, tutoring centers in China will need to quickly adapt to the new regulatory standards.

 

 

 

What are the changes?
According to the guidelines, the reforms aim to promote the healthy development of students, improve education quality, alleviate financial burdens on parents, and institute law-based governance of the education sector. They concentrate on education in core subjects, or compulsory education, which refers to grades K-9, covering the ages of approximately 6-15 years.

Highlights of the guidelines are as below.

Regulating off-campus for-profit tutoring and training centers
The guidelines contain measures regarding the regulation of off-campus tutoring and training centers.

New rules for regional authorization
According to the guidelines, regional governments are no longer permitted to approve new off-campus tutoring centers providing core/compulsory education. Existing ones must become registered as non-profit institutions.

Local governments must distinguish between training centers in sports, culture and art, and science and technology, and consult relevant departments to set standards for each category. Additionally, the guidelines prohibit tutoring on weekends, public holidays, and winter and summer vacations, which are popular times for off-campus education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impact on foreign stakeholders
Tutoring centers in core education cannot go public or be listed for financing. The guidelines call for the “excessive” capital in training centers to be controlled, and to ensure that financing is primarily used for operational costs.

The guidelines specifically ban foreign investment in such firms via mergers and acquisitions, franchise development, and variable interest entities (VIEs), which are investment vehicles frequently used by foreign investors to bypass restrictions in China’s education sector.

The hiring of foreign teachers and other staff must be according to relevant regulations, and firms cannot hire staff based outside of the country to carry out tutoring activities.

Impact on online education businesses
The guidelines further instruct regional governments to scrutinize existing online tutoring centers and re-approve them according to the new measures. Online lessons should be no more than 30 minutes, with intervals between lessons of at least 10 minutes, and should end by 9 pm. If they do not meet the updated standards, their registration and Internet Information Service Business License will be revoked.

Content management
In terms of content, the guidelines call for greater supervision and management of tutoring centers and to promulgate teaching materials, while banning the use of foreign teaching materials.

Reducing the homework and study burden on students
The guidelines contain numerous measures on reducing students’ homework burdens.

Regulating homework
They instruct schools to set up management structures to coordinate homework assignments, ensure the difficulty conforms to national standards, and create evidence-based homework strategies according to age and learning goals.

Further, schools should not assign any homework to students in grades one and two, aim for an average maximum of 60 minutes of homework for grades 3-6, and an average maximum of 90 minutes for junior high school students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promoting physical and mental health
The guidelines also encourage schools and parents to ensure students use their spare time responsibly. They recommend students complete homework they were unable to finish at school, get physical activity, read, moderate their use of electronics, and go to bed on time.

They further encourage parents to communicate with their children and pay attention to their mental health, while boarding schools should take responsibility for students’ after-school spare time.

Improving after-school services
The guidelines put forward measures about improving schools’ after-school services.

Schools should guarantee after-school services, encourage students to voluntarily participate in them, and create plans to improve their quality. After-school services should be run by teachers, retired teachers, social workers, or volunteers.

The guidelines also instruct schools to offer and improve free online learning services. Local education departments should develop free-to-use online learning platforms and encourage students to use them.

Other notable measures
The guidelines contain various other measures, such as directives to improve and standardize the quality of education across regions, develop better evaluation techniques, and increase the quality of teaching.

Besides re-evaluating existing tutoring centers, the guidelines also call for decreasing them over time, particularly those with low operational standards. While they concentrate on ages 6-15, the guidelines state that governments should coordinate the management of students ages 3-6 and high school students.

On this note, tutoring centers cannot hold offline or online training for preschool students, including foreign language education. Governments are no longer able to approve new licenses for subject-based education for preschool students.

The guidelines also heavily restrict tutoring centers from advertising, including banning media, new media, public spaces, and billboards from displaying advertisements. Further, advertisements cannot be “hidden” in the form of textbooks, stationery, uniforms, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Off-campus tutoring centers should also strengthen their party-building work and welcome the participation of party committees. Finally, the guidelines call for greater inspection and supervision of schools and education departments required to implement these policies.

Why has China introduced these reforms?
The guidelines mark the latest – and most stringent – Chinese effort to rein in the country’s private education industry, reassert the role of government-run schooling, and improve school-life balance for families.

The move aims, in part, to alleviate costs for families, thereby encouraging them to have more children, as well as to reduce stress on students. It comes after the government released census results in May showing that the country is ageing even more rapidly than previously thought.

China’s education system is exceptionally competitive, a problem exacerbated by the previous one- and two-child policies, which put undue pressure on children to support their families. According to the Chinese Society of Education, over 75 percent of students aged 6-18 years attended after-school tutoring in 2016, the most recent year of available data. This percentage is said to have risen in recent years.

The new reforms come on the heels of a new education law released in March, which limits the private sector’s role in core education and bans the use of foreign education materials.

 

 

 

How can education companies adapt?
China’s tutoring industry has grown rapidly for years and was on pace to continue to expand prior to the release of the new reforms. Consultancy firm Macquarie Research projected the industry to reach RMB 1.17 trillion (US$183 billion) by 2023, but the new restrictions jeopardize its prospects.

As a politically sensitive area, education in China has long been a lucrative but precarious industry for foreign participants. While the new regulations could devastate many private tutoring firms, foreign-run education firms were already prohibited from teaching core education.

Many foreign companies, however, operated through VIE vehicles, and will now need to quickly adapt to new structures. Further, companies accustomed to hiring foreign teachers who do not meet professional visa requirements will need to recruit more professional talent that meets formal standards.

Abby Chen, Senior Associate at Dezan Shira & Associates, advises, “Foreign-invested enterprises in core education have no choice but to stop engaging in such activities in accordance with the guidelines, and to change their registered business scope with the company registry.”

Despite the new restrictions, foreign-run education firms still have opportunities in areas like vocational education – a sector explicitly encouraged for foreign investment – as well as language training and university partnerships. Further, the impact on training centers in non-core education remains to be seen.

Chen recommends that foreign-invested enterprises outside of core education should wait for further implementation regulations and then take action accordingly.

Posted in Business, Education, Employment, News.