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mungouk

English schools situation in PRC

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mungouk

An interesting twist here in this story, among many, of English-language teaching centres in mainland China running into regulatory problems this year:

 

School’s Out: China’s Suddenly Disappearing English Academies (Sixth Tone)

 

This does seem to underline what I've been hearing recently though; apart from cracking down on illegal activities (such as employing under-qualified teachers or those on the wrong visa), it seems that some cities/provinces are now making it much harder for schools to get the necessary education licence, as opposed to a basic business licence.

 

Take-away: If you're applying for an English teaching job on the mainland, you might want to ask for proof that the employer has a proper education licence.  Or at least ask in the interview and see how they respond.

 

 

 

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ChTTay

The take away I have from that article is more like it’s always been hard to get an education license so ... schools just didn’t bother getting one. Get a business license as it’s easy and “no checks anyway”. Classic China.

 

The same thing happened in Beijing with all the bars and restaurants lost during “great brickening”. They were building illegal doors and dividing buildings they shouldn’t. No one cared and it was great until ... they all got demolished or bricked up. 

 

I can imagine this thing with schools has been happening since the beginning, especially in large cities with lots of competition. I don’t  think it’s a bad thing they’re finally clamping down on unlicensed schools. Smaller cities tend to find having English schools a good thing, especially if they have foreigners. “Look at our city! We’ve got foreigners living here”. That’s how it was for me in Yinchuan in 2011. We got invited to provincial meals and celebrations with the local government. 

 

As for asking about education licenses, anyone ever seen one? I imagine in a Skype interview they’d just say “of course” regardless. If you insisted and they really needed you to come, just knock one up and send a photo of it. 

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mackie1402

Yeah, it all sounds pretty familiar. They usually have seasonal clamp downs. I remember last year around summer all of the offices in my building got checked for education companies. They took photos of the staff, the office and any proof of it being an English school (such as books, whiteboards, leaflets, posters etc). In Hangzhou, some of the requirements for a language school include a minimum of 500 square metres, must be from the third floor or below (so can't start a company on the 4th floor etc), and there has to be at least 5 members of staff (who all need to have qualifications, and if I remember at least two had to have qualifications related to education.)  The big focus was on primary and secondary school kids. A lot of early education places (such as 2-6 years) and adult classes didn't have any major problems. 

 

It usually comes around in circles every year. First, it's clamping down on education, then suddenly that'll be forgotten about and it'll unregistered ebikes with a tonne of traffic police at every corner. Closer to Chinese New Year, you get a lot of raids on KTVs and hotels. 

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道艺黄帝

I've only heard about this happening at those training centers, not actual schools. I had a few friends in Wuxi who got the boot from their company who willingly hired them knowing they didn't have degrees, and sponsored their visa under a student visa. One of my buddies even had to do 48hrs in a local cell because his ctr was sending him to a different location from what his papers said. Rewind a few weeks prior and there was no harm no foul lol

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ChTTay
4 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

I've only heard about this happening at those training centers, not actual schools.

Yes, the article and Mungouk only mention English Language schools ... training centres. 

 

As mackie mentions, nothing too new. Spoke to my friend who runs a school and he agreed. There have always been plenty of schools like this, it’s just they (seem) to have actually starting taking notice / caring about it. 

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Dawei3

A friend of mine in Beijing was recently burned by her English language school/training center (I don't know what it was).  They gave her a very hard sell and she gave them $4200 for lessons (money she couldn't afford and she shouldn't have spent).  Several months later, the teachers said they weren't being paid and they closed up shop.

 

Everyone that was screwed out of their money was sent to a place to fill out forms.  It took more than 1/2 a day.  My friend thought the form signing event was concocted by gov't so that people weren't too upset (to give them the idea  they had recourse).  They got nothing back.  

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