Non-academic tutoring institutions have been asked to not charge one-time course fees of more than 5,000 yuan ($717) — equal to about three months of fees — as authorities take measures to rein in the increasingly popular sector, a new guideline said on Thursday.
Adhering to the non-profit nature of non-academic tutoring, local authorities need to guide institutions to set reasonable prices for their courses, and institutions are being asked to publish information about course prices, content, hours and standards, said the guideline, which was jointly released by the Ministry of Education and 12 other departments.
Tutoring for non-academic subjects cannot be conducted during regular school hours, it said. Also, offline non-academic tutoring courses should end before 8:30 pm, and online courses before 9 pm.
Non-academic tutors must possess credentials for the subjects they are teaching, and tutoring institutions cannot hire teachers from primary and middle schools, the guideline said.
Local authorities should conduct comprehensive inspections on non-academic institutions, and operators who fail to meet the guideline's requirements by June will be punished accordingly, it said.
Local authorities can introduce non-academic tutoring services offered by the institutions to schools. Such services should be priced considerably lower than market rates, the guideline said.
The achievements students obtain at non-academic tutoring institutions cannot be used for enrollment at schools. Grading and competitions for sports, arts, culture and sciences will be regulated and reduced, it added.
Following the introduction of the "double reduction" policy last year, significant progress has been made to ease the burden of excessive homework and off-campus academic tutoring on young students, according to the Ministry of Education.
The number of on-site academic tutoring institutions for primary and middle school students has been slashed from 124,000 to around 5,000, while those online dropped from 263 to 34, the ministry said.
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