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Are the training center teachers stampeding for the exits? Or to find jobs at public schools? What's the situation like in your city regarding the abolition of the private training schools?


vellocet
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Just wondering what it's like out there.  The entire English after-school and weekends training school industry has been abolished (or forcibly moved to non-profit status, which is pretty much the same thing).  What is it like in your town?  Is there a stampede for the exits?  Or to find public school jobs?  My town has been curiously quiet.  Not a peep other than a couple people posting links to the article on various Wechat accounts.  You'd figure they'd be more worked up about becoming instantly unemployed.  

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Oh wow, this is huge news! Yeah I'd assume a lot of foreign teachers will be looking for employment elsewhere... but I can't imagine it'll be super hard to find it for most foreign teachers currently in China, as they're in the privileged position of being inside the walled garden, at least until covid travel/visa restrictions start properly easing up.

 

Different situation for local teachers, but perhaps there are provisions being made for them by the government somehow?

 

Edit: I also can't see any articles mentioning a date for when the new rules will actually kick in?

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Well, they just halved the size of the English industry, and while I imagine a few can fit into the public school system, most won't.  

 

AFAIK the new rules are effective immediately.  But nobody has said anything about getting fired and the new semester is starting in 30 days.  So parents have to pay tuition, etc.  I haven't heard anything from the local teachers, so reaching out to those living in China to what they've heard in their cities.  

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There was a decent article on Sixth Tone about it 5 days ago (here). I think I also saw something on TheBeijinger. 
 

They’ve also managed to smash that company VIP Kids in one swoop by saying any online teachers must be based in China, not abroad. 
 

In Beijing, I mostly read they’re focused on weekend schools, if that’s the case I guess they’ll shift everything to mid-week? 

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Unfortunately I don't have much to add since I'm not working for training centers or even schools. On my 小区 WeChat group people have already posted pictures of Chinese nationals being arrested along with their foreign learning materials (one of the things that's been banned). I'm not sure how real it is but it's interesting to see it getting attention from normal Chinese people too. 

 

I'm very curious to see what others have to say. What will this do to salaries in general? Will the increase in supply to schools push down those 30k salaries that came about because of Coronavirus? I would love to hear from someone currently working at a training center in one of the pilot cities. Training centers are normally pretty chaotic but I imagine it's absolute madness right now.

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Here's a detailed analysis of the govt announcements of 28 and 30 July, just released today. It's more of an overview of the issues for businesses.

 

"An In-depth Analysis of the "Dual Alleviation" Policy"

https://www.ventureeducation.org/research

 

One immediate take-away, as already alluded to by @ChTTay:
 

Quote

There are many tens of thousands of online teachers, primarily in English-speaking countries, who will soon be unable to teach students in China. This will obviously affect the many organisations that recruit, manage and provide these teachers.

 

Disclosure: I used to work for Venture Education indirectly.

 

They are Beijing-based and work at policy and research level all the time, with UK and EU businesses in China — especially K-12 education providers — through the British and EU Chambers of Commerce. In other words: I think they know what they're talking about.

 

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This is just crazy. I worked as an English teacher at King's English in 天津 just a couple years ago. And now they've nuked the industry. I guess I'm glad I took the opportunity when it presented itself. 真的很难以名状我一听这消息的感受...我惊愕无语

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Seems a bit much, Duolingo has lots of adult users. Possible it's just overzealous self-censorship by the app stores though.

 

Does raise the question of how you police the difference between apps for children and apps for adults, though. Duolingo definitely has a lot of children using it as well as its adult user base, and lots of its features/its general aesthetic are appealing for kids, which seems to be at least partly by-design, even if not explicitly so. And I can't imagine it's the only app that straddles that middle ground.

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Just a month or two ago I saw a video advert for Duolingo playing in the elivator in my building. I was surprised to see it because I thought Duolingo was non profit, so I wondered how they afford ads like that, or why they would even bother. 

 

Most of these ads are aimed at kids or something related to kids, unless they are for baijiu, beer, online shopping, or cars. I can't remember the exact content but it definitely seemed to be for kids rather than adults.

 

I checked the xiaomi app store and it really is gone. Very interesting and slightly unfortunate. 

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2 hours ago, Demonic_Duck said:

But IMO the overall direction is a positive development.

I agree with that. Having been reasonably involved in a few English training centers I definitely think that most of them offer hardly anything positive to society, and the average Chinese person could only benefit if they were to disappear.  

 

Yesterday I saw one of the biggest English training center chains here in Chengdu posting and advertising on WeChat. They are no longer an English school, they are now an "儿童成长中心“ with foreign teachers. It didn't take that long for that change, looks like they are aiming to just continue with business as usual.

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2 hours ago, 黄有光 said:

Wait...are you really saying they're trying to just change the name, but continue with business as usual?  Because that's crazy.

1343708065_WeChatImage_20210809094541.thumb.jpg.7b2193026583172ec49fd931f19a0dc4.jpg

Kind of looks like it. Trying to obscure things with meaningless garbage. This poster is accompanied by a video showing foreigners dancing and doing other activities with groups of students, with phrases like "PBL" and "Language Arts", flashing across the screen. No mention of English of course.

 

I'm not sure to what extent they are actually changing their business model though. They always did offer sports classes and things like that, they pushed it pretty hard and I think the profit margin was pretty high since you can have a big class of 10 or 20 students in some "activity centered" class, but maybe 6 max with pure English in a classroom.

 

They don't seem to be missing a beat so they might even be happy to be able to force parents into bigger classes with higher prices because now it's also a "dancing" class or an "arts and crafts" class. 

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Mark and 黄有光 that makes sense since only "core subjects" aren't allowed at private training centers, but I don't think foreigners are allowed to teach extracurricular activities such as dance, etc. since it can be taught by a Chinese.  I don't expect this will work when it's time to renew their foreign expert visas. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, just trying to understand the situation. 

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