søndag 19. september 2021

Parents and Employees in Education Sector Caught in Limbo as China Cracks down on For-profit Tutoring

“Welcome to our WeChat group, I am your class teacher JJ and we will start our lessons online starting 12th of July, you can download our app beforehand.”

This is the message one gets when added into a WeChat group now made for parents, impacted by the “double reduction” policy aiming to tighten rules on for-profit curriculum tutoring companies in China. According to JJ, the number of friend requests from desperate parents is so overwhelming that sometimes her WeChat account malfunctions.

Xiao Xu, parent of a four-year old in Shanghai is one of them. She used to bring her child one day out of a week to Best Learning English (贝乐学科英语), a private institute in Shanghai specialising in the American K12 education system and using the American kindergarten textbook “Wonders” while teaching toddlers the language.

“We do want him to learn English from an early age, it is not only about the language but also another mindset.” Xiao Xu told Pandaily. “However the public kindergarten system in China doesn’t allow that. So we have to bring him to a private one.”

Originally from Sichuan and now settled down in Shanghai, Xiao Xu is one of China’s first-tier city middle class who believes in social ascension and international education. “My child loved that school. They’d learn the language through painting, singing and intellectually-stimulating games,“ Xiao Xu recalled. “The courses were fun and weren’t a burden at all for my child. It was really hard for him to say goodbye to his teacher the day the school had to close its doors.”