New Policies to be Introduced for Training Providers

While providing after-class additional curriculum training to students has been one of the most promising sectors to attract capital investment, its policy risks remain high. Following the Black-Monday-esque USD1.5b evaporation in Hong Kong stock, the Haidian and Chaoyang District Education Bureaus have indicated their likelihood of further restricting both offline and online training providers. It is suggested that the following policies will be introduced: all teachers / trainers shall be required to hold a “foreign expert certificate”, with a warning that the Bureaus will “penalize the employer for hiring teachers / trainers without the certificate”; charging more than 3 months tuition at any time will be prohibited (currently many are charging an annual fee); training sessions should not be offered later than 8:30pm, and no homework will be permitted; training organizations shall be prohibited from organizing competitions and ranking students; all teachers will be required to have their names / photos and backgrounds listed publically, and current school teachers are to be excluded from employment.

If such policies are adopted, commencing in Beijing and then possibly spreading all over China, it will place a question mark over the capital market, as the vast majority of foreign teachers who work in the training industry do not have the certificates / experience required. Furthermore, there are still many agents who claim that for a fee they can assist teachers by “accelerating” TEFL and TESOL certification and certificate notarization in order to meet the market demand. According to the Ministry of Education (MOE), by mid-Dec, a nationwide campaign of “problem identification and change making” placed 270,000 out of 400,000 training organizations under inspection.

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