Last year, the Chinese regime announced an outright ban on tutoring services to support children’s physical and mental health from being overloaded with school work, homework, and the pressure to do well. However, the regulation has created an enormous demand for a black market in education. Now upper-middle-class families are paying double to send their kids to afterschool classes.
Beijing enforced the decision to crack down on off-campus classes and turned licensed institutions into non-profit organizations. However, the pressure to perform on state exams, including high school and college entrance exams, forced parents to find a way out for their children’s education future.
According to SixthTone, Mingyu, a 12-year-old child, is busier than ever this summer. Like many other children in Beijing, his holiday schedule is jam-packed with extra academic training:
- One English course
- Two math training programs
- A physics camp
- Lessons at another three tutoring places
The only difference is that these classes are illegal this year. Nevertheless, his parents are determined to do whatever it takes to help him compete in the capital’s brutally competitive education system. Many other Chinese families are doing the same thing.
As a result, many tutoring firms are offering private classes in secret. During the second quarter of 2022, China’s education ministry investigated 140,000 tutoring organizations nationwide. They found that nearly 3,000 were providing illegal academic tutoring. The ministry also shut down 464 centers that had continued to operate after claiming to have closed their businesses.
Wu, a mother of a 7-year-old girl living in the Haidian District in central Beijing, said that before the policy enforcement, she only paid about $3000 a year for her daughter’s English class in a language center. Now she has to pay double that for the three-on-one private classes. Wu disagrees with how Chinese parents are obsessive about sending their kids to extra classes. She added, “But when the overall atmosphere is like that, I feel pressure to enroll my girl in those tutoring classes. I’m not happy about it, but I have to.”
It is worth mentioning that China’s vast tutoring industry was estimated at $310 billion before the regulation, which led to large-scale layoffs and financial losses. As a result, many education centers providing these services must find a way to keep their business running, including using an offshore license with online learning apps.
A former teacher at TAL Education said, “We don’t know how far we can go,” … “The policy remains in place. The authorities could tighten their supervision anytime and that could mean the end of such classes. It’s still a business filled with uncertainty.”