SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 24 June 2021, Thursday |

China bars foreign curriculum, ownership in some private schools

The State Council of China has announced new laws banning foreign organizations from owning or controlling private K-9 schools and prohibiting the teaching of foreign curriculum in schools from kindergarten to grade nine (K-9) in China.

The regulations, which take effect on September 1, are the latest in a series of steps taken by Beijing to tighten control over the country’s fast-growing education sector and public discourse.

There are currently private K-9 schools in China that teach both Chinese and international curriculum.

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 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 K9 private schools can’t be controlled by agreement,” said Citi in a note on Sunday.

“We expect K12 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.