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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?


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10 hours ago, Xiao Kui said:

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.

That's a very good point, I didn't even think of it that way. I guess the next few months will be interesting.

 

Somehow I can't see the government sending hundreds of foreigners back to their Covid riddled countries though. Maybe they will be making space for more teachers in public schools and slowing moving things over to the public side. That's sort of the idea that I got, that the aim is for the schools to be providing what parents are paying an arm and a leg at training centers for. 

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On 8/10/2021 at 10:02 AM, markhavemann said:

Maybe they will be making space for more teachers in public schools and slowing moving things over to the public side. 

 

My training center closed down last month - it was a small subsidiary of the education giant New Oriental and was mainly teaching 3 - 6 year olds. I'm now moving over to a private kindergarten but sooner or later I think foreigners won't be allowed there too.

As for public schools, I was hoping for the same thing, but apparently no foreign textbooks will be allowed from grades 1 - 9. That would even apply for most private schools which have an international curriculum. I wonder how international departments would be affected - like those offering AP and GCSE curriculums - all those textbooks are published by foreign companies.

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1 hour ago, Harv31 said:

My training center closed down last month - it was a small subsidiary of the education giant New Oriental and was mainly teaching 3 - 6 year olds. I'm now moving over to a private kindergarten but sooner or later I think foreigners won't be allowed there too.

I don't think foreign teachers will be chased out of everywhere. English is the language of the world and, very importantly, the language of all academic papers. I can't see that China will want to hurt that side of things. I really beleive that the aim is what they stated, to put the job of education mostly on schools, since that's what they are there for. 

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9 hours ago, markhavemann said:

I really beleive that the aim is what they stated, to put the job of education mostly on schools, since that's what they are there for. 

Yea I hope you're right. Also I think they're slowly beginning to clamp down on the whole thing where companies simply hire a few relatively unqualified foreigners to justify chargin lots, when one of the many qualified Chinese English teachers could do potentially do the same for less pay. (Especially when teaching like 6 - 11 year olds)

We'll probably find more opportunities in normal public schools - some of my old Chinese colleagues have made the transition - but their pay is nowhere near what they were earning at private training centers.

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13 hours ago, Harv31 said:

My training center closed down last month - it was a small subsidiary of the education giant New Oriental and was mainly teaching 3 - 6 year olds. I'm now moving over to a private kindergarten but sooner or later I think foreigners won't be allowed there too.

Thank you for being the first person in the entire thread to actually answer the question posed, instead of just jawing about the situation.  Since teaching under 6 is now forbidden, I suppose that's why they closed.

 

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Wall Street English to announce bankruptcy next week

Wall Street has been teetering on the cliff of bankruptcy for a long time.

 

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one of the many qualified Chinese English teachers could do potentially do the same for less pay. 

These teachers are seen as shabby and can't or won't teach the kids correctly.  After seeing kid after kid coming out of English class unable to pronounce common phonemes like "th" and "v" correctly, I can't say I disagree.

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Speaking from a little bit of experience, many years ago, I'm curious about how much demand there would be for foreign English teachers at regular secondary schools. Isn't the focus there more on studying towards the 高考? New foreign teachers cycling through every year or two would be a hindrance, not a help, to the English department, I'd assume.

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The crackdown on the entire tutoring sector is a big shock. Personally I think it has nothing to do with ideology but has everything to do with what Chinese government perceives as social stability.  They expect education to underpin social mobility and an aggressive expansion of private tutoring is doing just the opposite. Also the government is very mindful of the education policy’s impact on other two sensitive areas (property market and birth rate). But looking on the bright side, if this is done thoughtfully, it perhaps could be a blessing in disguise, especially if the teaching staff and technology of the current tutoring companies can be pivoted to aid weaker public schools and less developed areas.  

 

Anyway, I put down some of my thoughts over the weekend in the article below and would love to hear thoughts from people on the forum.

 

https://www.flyingsesame.com/behind-china-tutoring-ban-role-of-education/

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On 8/7/2021 at 11:59 PM, Demonic_Duck said:

Kids should be allowed to have a childhood, not forced into the rat race before they can tie their own shoelaces. And kids from poorer backgrounds shouldn't be forced to shoulder additional disadvantages by not having the same access to extracurricular classes as their more privileged peers.

 

I don't think this will end the rat race, though. Kids will still be forced to learn musical instruments and all kinds of other activities that aren't ruled out by this law. I doubt the parents who were previously pushing their children are now going to give up and let their children have a childhood. And what exactly constitutes a childhood? Children may have more free time as a result, but to do what? Children in the west waste their time playing video games - something else which is restricted in China.

 

Also, the private schools offering international curricula (such as IGCSE, A-levels, international baccalaureate) were often a way out of the rat race for those who could afford it. Many students who would have either failed to get into a Chinese university or "forfeited their childhood" to do so had an avenue to an education abroad. Now their only option is to go abroad at an earlier age, for those who can afford it.

 

The rat race is a part of modern Chinese culture and not a product of the education system. If anything, the schools were a response to the rat race culture, rather than the cause of it. People will still be fighting for the same jobs. It's just that now they will have to fight in other ways. And the privileged will still be privileged.

 

On 8/7/2021 at 11:59 PM, Demonic_Duck said:

Nah I don't think there's any nefarious plan behind it, I think the primary aim is what they claim it is — reducing the social problems associated with cram culture. Possibly reducing foreign influence in education is seen as a desirable side effect, but I don't think it's the main aim.

 

One aim may be reducing the social problems associated with cram culture. However, I don't think reducing foreign influence in education is simple a desirable side effect. Reducing foreign influence in every sphere of Chinese existence has been central to the policy of the CCP. If it were simply addressing cram culture, what is the rationale behind banning foreign text books? Clearly the government wants 100% control in every aspect of indoctrination of the population.

 

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3 hours ago, anonymoose said:

One aim may be reducing the social problems associated with cram culture. However, I don't think reducing foreign influence in education is simple a desirable side effect. Reducing foreign influence in every sphere of Chinese existence has been central to the policy of the CCP. If it were simply addressing cram culture, what is the rationale behind banning foreign text books? Clearly the government wants 100% control in every aspect of indoctrination of the population.

Foreign textbooks are crazy expensive here. I know of training centers and schools who ask thousands per semester just for textbooks and materials. Sometimes there is a Chinese version of the same textbook, printed in association with a Chinese publisher, or one that is almost the same available for 30rmb on taobao, but the "foreign" label on anything means people will often accept ridiculous prices for no good reason, not to mention that most parents are unable to tell the difference. 

 

I'm not entirely sure how stopping students from using expensive cambridge textbooks is going to indoctrinate them. But it might force Cambridge and others to work with local publishers to print books locally that are more competitively priced. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, markhavemann said:

I'm not entirely sure how stopping students from using expensive cambridge textbooks is going to indoctrinate them. But it might force Cambridge and others to work with local publishers to print books locally that are more competitively priced.

 

Well obviously because if they use locally published textbooks, the CCP will have the final say over what constitutes acceptable content. Maybe not a big issue for maths and sciences, but it will be for the humanities.

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14 hours ago, anonymoose said:

I don't think this will end the rat race, though.

 

I agree, the regulations about after school classes etc won't single-handedly do that. That's why I view them as a small step in the right direction, rather than a magic bullet that will fix everything.

 

14 hours ago, anonymoose said:

Children may have more free time as a result, but to do what? Children in the west waste their time playing video games - something else which is restricted in China.

 

To play, explore the world, engage and develop their creativity and sense of curiosity. Ideally with peers to help foster empathy, collaboration, and general socialization at the same time.

 

Some video games do help facilitate this (Minecraft comes to mind), but many others don't really engage that faculty at all (linear shooters etc). English classes, music classes, programming classes, etc certainly provide some outlets for creativity if they're designed and taught with that aim in mind, much less so if they're cram schools. The problem is that cram culture encourages that kind of 填鸭式教育 that leaves almost no room for play or creativity.

 

It's also worth mentioning that this kind of creativity tends to foster critical thinking, which would run counter to the aim of rigid indoctrination. Though I admit the thing about foreign textbooks is questionable.

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19 hours ago, anonymoose said:

Well obviously because if they use locally published textbooks, the CCP will have the final say over what constitutes acceptable content. Maybe not a big issue for maths and sciences, but it will be for the humanities.

I'm sure that you are right to some extent, but such a tiny percentage of students actually use native textbooks (like history, etc). Most students graduating gaokao have pretty dismal English and are hardly in a position to consume much useful propaganda, and I can't imagine "pencil" and "eraser" at lower levels being replaced with anything political. 

 

Definitely more control of content is a happy coincidence of all of this, but there are huge numbers of students going to study abroad (fewer now I suppose). It's one of the biggest bragging rights to say that you studied in America or the UK. Universities actively promote it, as does Chinese society as a whole, and it puts impressionable college students out of reach of any kind of content control. 

 

11 hours ago, Demonic_Duck said:

English classes, music classes, programming classes, etc certainly provide some outlets for creativity if they're designed and taught with that aim in mind, much less so if they're cram schools.

 

This is excatly how Iceland stopped their teenagers from getting involved in drugs and alcohol [link]. Usually the dance/martial arts/drawing/music classes (unaffacted by the new policy) are a bit cheaper, and from what I can tell the kids really learn stuff. As the old proverb goes: "no matter how good you are at something, there is always a 7 year old Asian kid who does it better".

 

It's mostly the school related stuff that are cash cows. I heard of a Chinese geography teacher at a school who asks 800rmb an hour to tutor during the holidays, and gets it. That's not even one of the important subjects. It's well know that if you are a teacher at a reasonably well know school you can pay off a house in a few years from holiday tutoring. 

 

I really don't think this a conspiracy, or if it is then it's less than 10% conspiracy. The owner of one of the local training center chains drives a Meseratti. Imagine that was the principle of your child's school. Most westerners would agree there is a problem with that. 

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My wife was reading online and there's an app where you can leave feedback about things for the local councils to get back to you. Then that's usually followed by a discussion. One person went on the app to report New Oriental English and saying they were still collecting tuition fees for September. There was one official reply saying that New Oriental will be using New Concept English, which isn't classed as a core subject, so it's allowed. In another province on the same app, the official reply was of course New Concept English is core, so it's not allowed. etc I think right now, a lot of people don't really know what's happening.

 

My wife did come across an official post on the app though, which said it's only the core subject courses which are banned. It was explained in depth and said classes which aren't taught at school are fine, and even English classes which help kids improve English in general and aren't aimed at the national curriculum standard are fine. I'll have to ask her later if she can send it to me so I can post it here. Long story short, it seemed that they are trying to cut back on people signing up for the classes that 'guarantee you 100 in maths' or guarantee a grade in the school tests and want kids to focus on just learning something. They want less focus on scores and results and more on education. However, there have been a lot of conflicting articles online. I'll try and get the link as soon as I can! 

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On 8/14/2021 at 12:27 PM, FlyingSesame said:

government perceives as social stability

This is an insightful comment.  Social stability is one of the top priorities of both the Chinese government and its people.  While no country wants instability, the priority given this varies greatly.  There have been multiple times in the US when Chinese friends commenting on US court decisions said the US government did it to ensure social stability.  The first time I heard this, I thought "Where did that come from....???" (because the decision had nothing to do with social stability and the decision was made by a jury).

 

Then I thought about the Chinese prism, i.e., social stability is a priority and that the courts in China aren't independent.  I pointed out that the courts in the US often make decisions that are against social stability.  

 

Right now across many areas, the Chinese government is greatly increasing its control.  While it had full control of traditional schools, now its increasing its control on independent ones.  It's also taking strong control of top Chinese internet companies, regardless of the financial cost.  The government's forced retraction of Alibaba's Ant Group Initial Public Offering (IPO) was hugely costly to investors, most of whom were Chinese, but this didn't matter to the government.  Meituan and other companies are also being strongly hit by new government restrictions and requirements.  The Chinese government is even stopping companies from listing overseas, even though this brings capital into China (there is a long story behind this).  

On 8/16/2021 at 11:38 PM, markhavemann said:

It's one of the biggest bragging rights to say that you studied in America or the UK.

It definitely has been so in the past.  However, now many of my friends in China note that it's unnecessary to go overseas to study.  There is a suggestion that doing so isn't patriotic.  In addition, Chinese friends in the US, who are considering moving back to China are now saying, they need to get back as soon as possible because their US experience isn't seen as valuable.  This is a complete change even from just 5 years ago.  This is obviously not everyone, all-the-time, but I've seen a notable change in perspectives.

 

  

 

 

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As a former WSE employee, Vellocet hit the nail on the head. Between being sold, to the covid market hit, the company had been in shambles, cutting wages without notice or outright withholding pay. When I was on my way out a few years ago, they started up a branch targeting kids, but afaik this was nothing more than a small % of the business model. I don't think the new regulations affected the bankruptcy.

 

I've since switched to a 民办 private middle school where I've enjoyed pretty loose oversight on the reading/classroom materials used as long as I could relate it back to the unit. At one point my 主管 was even encouraging me to use YouTube videos to expose the kids to more authentic English. Boy has that done a 180 overnight. I met with her a few weeks ago to see all the new CCP Approved Reading Material (as I will now abbreviate as C PARM or simply Chicken Parm) and curriculum. Her comment on the rationale was to keep material within the scope of the party's positive messaging they want kids to 遇到 when reading English. I've skimmed through one so far. Chicken Parm Sherlock Holmes.

 

I bring up my school being 民办 because they too will see regulations, tightening up what 私立学校s can be or face converting to 公立. The original 通知 I had has since been removed, but I did find this article referencing it.

 

https://c.m.163.com/news/a/GHPCK0FR0536SCFP.html?spss=newsapp

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To answer the OP, I haven't noticed anything implemented yet in Shanghai, however my buddy in 无锡 semi-lost his job. He was 'kindly suggested' to leave his original position and location and sign in with their kindergarten branch. I'm friends with a woman who runs a training center with all three 主科 and she said she may start having teachers doing home visits instead of meeting at the center.

 

Will keep everyone updated. Shanghai has started to go back into covid lockdown. My training center friend has to close down shop now due to a new case popping up in her district, as if the new regulations weren't enough for her to deal with.

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So my wife could never find that article again.

 

On another note, a couple of online classroom platforms have sent out messages saying that they've been notified by the government about the regulations and that they must not allow any classes for primary or middle school children during the weekends. The platform have said they aren't exactly being monitored right now, but as soon as they are, the app will basically be completely closed down on the weekends. 

 

After talking to some other parents here, these are some of the other things I've found out:

- Whale English cancelled/moved a tonne of classes (as they are similar to VIPKid which had all of their teachers abroad) and parents have been unable to get any refunds.

- Rise posted on WeChat moments that they will be using Oxford Reading Tree books to teach Chinese Culture, so it's not classed as core curriculum.

- Another place here told parents that students will no longer have English class, but Drama class instead. As you can imagine, a lot of parents asked for refunds. 

- I read an article about a school in Hangzhou offering a dirt cheap summer course for August to follow the guidelines. It would be proper teachers and the kids would be doing arts, crafts, dancing, sports and summer activities. It was 60rmb a day I think. Out of 1200 pupils that attend the school, only 40 signed up for the course. Apparently, parents just don't see the point in that type of summer course. 

- A Brit that was based in Shanghai and had their own school basically did a runner back to the UK. He owes over 10 million rmb in unpaid wages and tuition fees. 

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