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China bars foreign curriculums, ownership in some private schools

China bars foreign curriculums, ownership in some private schools

Students wearing face masks are seen inside a classroom in Shanghai, China, May 7, 2020. (File photo: REUTERS/Aly Song)

BEIJING: China's State Council announced new laws halting the teaching of foreign curriculums in schools from kindergarten to grade nine (K-9) and prohibiting the ownership or control of any private K-9 schools by foreign entities.

The laws, which will come into effect on Sep 1, are the latest in a series of measures taken by Beijing to tighten control of its fast-growing education sector and public discourse.

China currently has private K-9 schools which teach local and foreign curriculums.

The members of the board of directors or other decision making body at a private K-9 school should be Chinese nationals and should include representatives from the regulators, according to the Private Education Promotion Law published on Friday (May 14) on a government website.

China is framing tough new rules to clamp down on a booming private tutoring industry, aiming both to ease pressure on school children and boost the country’s birth rate by lowering family living costs, Reuters reported last week.

The laws announced are "stricter-than-expected for compulsory education schools (K-9 schools), especially in the complete ban of connected party transactions, and K-9 private schools can’t be controlled by agreement", said Citi in a note on Sunday.

"We expect K-12 players’ majority of revenue and profit would be under challenge," Citi added.

Private K-9 schools cannot organise entrance tests and cannot recruit in advance, according to the new law.

Also, public K-9 schools cannot establish private schools, nor convert into private schools, the new law said.

Source: Reuters/kg

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