China’s private schools are being nationalized. Chinese education reform is aimed at aligning it with President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” goals.
As a result of these changes, the Communist Party of China will have direct authority over every educational institution in the country (CCP).
Xi’an’s municipal education bureau said on Tuesday that 38 private elementary and secondary schools in more than 10 districts had been pushed back into public hands. The municipal government of Shanghai, meanwhile, stated that it had “bought out” over 20,000 spaces in the city’s private schools. This decision has essentially converted 30 private schools in Shanghai into free education providers.
Jia Minling was once a Shanghai school teacher. The city of Shanghai, formerly, according to her, had a policy of welcoming private education. As the city of Shanghai grew, so did the number of private schools. There were a number of them that provided excellent facilities and instruction.
In a Mandarin-language publication, Jia states, “If they are taking back [the private sector] in this way, it means education will be completely in the hands of the government.”
As he goes on to say, “Private schools make an effort to compete for enrolments, and teachers are responsible and really serious about improving the grades of the children.”
The provinces of Sichuan in the southwest, Hunan in the center, and Jiangsu in the east have stated their intention to limit private schools to no more than 5% of the province’s educational budget.
It is not only these provinces that are being nationalized under this policy. It’s gaining traction all around China.
The goal is to progressively integrate private institutions into the public sector. Having said that, it is not something that can be done all at once. As a consequence, specific goals have been established for every district in the country.
“A lot of Shanghai private schools have reduced their fees… So now, not only do they not make money, they can’t even operate. They call it delisting,” Pan, an education sector source in Shanghai, told the newspaper.
Several private schools are being taken over by the government, allowing kids to attend without paying tuition. The government has lowered or eliminated tuition at other institutions.
Dozens of institutions, including 30 that no longer charge tuition, have been taken over by the government, according to reports.
Jia is certain that the government is interfering with the operations of private schools. “Private schools are responsible for their own profits and losses, what right do they have to interfere with that?” he asks.
Critics of the CCP’s decision believe that private schools will not be able to enroll children if the tuition charge is too expensive. So to speak, the “invisible hand” of the market will handle it.
People who support CCP’s move believe that it is necessary and will prevent middle-class Chinese families from falling into a rat race. They worry that the rise of private schools in China, together with the associated social standing, will have a long-term negative impact on the country.
China’s Ministry of Education said in August of last year that private education would be abolished in the country by August of 2023.
The Ministry of Education has also established a department to supervise off-campus education and training. It also has the responsibility of delivering “reforms to the off-campus education and training sector.”
Since then, the CCP has made it clear that it intends to clamp down on private tuition institutions. As a result, there was an effort to reduce homework and other after-school educational activities.
This led to a comprehensive revision of China’s $100 billion education technology industry, which culminated in the prohibition of profit-making, capital-raising, and public offerings by businesses that teach the school curriculum.
China’s educational establishments are reportedly prohibited from “offering subject-based tutoring on national statutory holidays, rest days, or winter and summer vacations.”
According to the most current industry figures, 75% of pupils in elementary and secondary schools had after-school tutoring.
The leadership of the CCP considers this to be a dangerous pattern for society as a whole. Xi personally scolded parents for the pressure they put on themselves to raise their children in order to get them into the top schools.
According to Xi, this culture places an additional financial strain on parents, which in turn discourages them from having more children. As a result, Xi’s objective of increasing China’s birth rate is hampered.