The “double reduction” policy was launched last year to ease students’ workload and pricing guidelines were introduced to prevent service providers from charging exorbitant prices. Not only has this caused many tutoring institutions to close down, but parents fear that they will now have nowhere to turn to for quality lessons that their child still needs for the rat race. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing reports.
Since China’s regulatory clampdowns in the after-school tutoring sector, Chinese education sector stocks have dropped and analysts have been left wondering how they were caught on the back foot. SMU academic Liang Hao and postgraduate student Wang Jialun discuss the predictive limitations of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) ratings and what the cycle of anxiety that pervades the tutoring industry means for investors.
Since September, primary and secondary schools across China have started to implement the “double reduction” policy. Among other measures, primary one and two students no longer have written homework or paper-based exams, while primary three to six students will have their written homework load significantly reduced. These measures are changing up the education ecosystem with students, parents, tutoring companies, teachers and schools all having to adjust. At the back of everyone’s minds is the thought that the rules have changed but competition has not gone away. What are some of their concerns and how will they cope?
China has introduced a wave of strong regulatory moves on various industries over the past months, alarming international observers and causing jitters in the financial market. However, says academic Gu Qingyang, these moves could be necessary and might just set China in the right direction to face future challenges better.
Personalities such as actress/producer Vicki Zhao and music multi-hyphenate Gao Xiaosong have recently been scrubbed from the Chinese internet. Curiously, among the “wrongs” they are thought to have committed, a common one between them is having strong links to big capital Alibaba. What are the authorities saying with this latest clampdown on well-connected pop culture icons? Is an engineered social revolution under way?
Technology specialist Yin Ruizhi looks at the vast amounts of money tutoring agencies in China have been spending on advertising to generate quick wins. In the long run, students enrolled at such institutions suffer as they end up memorising material rather than truly learning. Seen in that light, the government’s recent intervention was a long time coming.
Amid taunts of being a “malignant tumour” by Chinese state media and being effectively blacklisted by Hong Kong’s education bureau, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) has announced its dissolution. While it is a professional organisation, it has long been associated with being a pro-democracy advocate. Is the HKPTU among the long line of those to fall in Beijing’s efforts to “cleanse“ various Hong Kong sectors? Who will be next? Zaobao’s China Desk finds out more.
The Chinese government’s recent crackdown on the tutoring industry is not a random act, says Chinese technology specialist Yin Ruizhi. If one has paid attention to media reports and government work reports, education has been an area of concern since 2013. Hence the "double reduction" policy is necessary and should not be a surprise if you have done your homework.
The Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the 20th century goes down in history as proof that if the Chinese are weak, the West will take advantage and China will pay the price. It is a constant reminder to the Chinese of their past humiliations and guides their dealings with the West today. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shares illustrations of the tumultuous times during that period.