China Targets Tutoring Industry

Tutor helps student catch up and learn. | Image by kan_chana/Shutterstock

Unlicensed tutors in China could face fines as high as $14,000, according to an announcement made by the Chinese Communist Party this week.

Reuters reported that the Ministry of Education’s statement on state-run television is the latest move from the authoritarian country to reform its school system and relieve stress on children by regulating after-school programs and enforcing stricter licensing requirements.

Tutoring service operators could face fines of up to 100,000 yuan, equivalent to nearly $14,000. The agency published a document Tuesday that detailed its plan, the South China Morning Post reported.

“[We] need to improve the legal framework for after-school tutoring and clarify law enforcement responsibilities, [to] standardize legal compliance for off-campus training, and make wrongdoers pay the price, while protecting those who comply,” reads the document.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to target its country’s $120 billion tutoring industry in 2021, claiming reforms would help put less pressure on young students and boost birth rates. The Ministry of Education said that after-school programs still exist in “varying degrees” despite the government’s efforts to reshape the education sector. Some privately run programs, the ministry claimed, essentially defraud their customers by “taking money and running away,” according to Reuters.

Chinese parents spend an average of 2,893 yuan per month on their children’s education, according to Statista, which is equivalent to $397.56.

China’s birth rate dropped to a record low of 1.09 births per woman in 2022. The declining population threatens the Communist country as its government looks to increase its global influence. Reuters reported that the cost of education is a leading factor for Chinese couples deciding not to have children.

The CCP also disclosed that it predicts 400 million people in China will be 60 and over by 2035, representing an estimated 30% of the population. For comparison, the population of people 65 or older in the U.S. is 16.8%.

The new rules governing after-school programs and tutoring are set to go into effect next month.

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