Chinese Parents Spend As Much As 300,000 Yuan On Tutoring Classes For Their Children

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Chinese parents are spending as much as 300,000 Yuan (US$43,500) each year on extracurricular tutoring for their children, according to a national education association. Academic pressure in the education system of the country reportedly reached its peak, especially when students prepare for university entrance exams, and cramming becomes common among younger children.

Gu Mingyuan, the head of Chinese Society of Education which is affiliated with the Ministry of Education, said tutoring classes are becoming popular rather than the conventional schooling. Chinese parents are sending their children to six hours of tutoring classes, costing 120,000 Yuan up to 300,000 Yuan each year.

In the annual report of the China Education 30 Forum, over 60 percent primary pupils in China are being tutored outside the classroom, particularly in subjects like Math, English, and Literature, while about 70 percent of primary school pupils receive tutoring in Shanghai and Beijing. As they get older, the higher the proportion of students taking tutoring classes, wherein more than 40 percent are being tutored when they reach the sixth grade.

A survey conducted by the China Youth and Children Research Center in 2015 also revealed that Chinese pupils spend an average of 50 minutes per weekday and two hours at the weekend in tutoring classes. After-school classes in China have been considered a fast-growing industry, where it is expected to increase over 1 billion Yuan by 2021, the South China Morning Post reported.

However, the impact of cramming among Chinese students prompted Beijing to issue guidelines where it advised parents to reduce the time their children spent in tutoring classes. Gu said the competition is becoming intense as students wanted to go into a good school, leading them to an overly heavy workload.

Although the government tried to implement several measures to reduce academic workloads of primary and middle school students, the impact is still considered limited. For example, the ministry set a school management guideline last year, noting pupils in primary schools have the right to sleep for 10 hours every night. But, the educational responsibility is being passed on to parents due to reducing schoolwork in the classroom, said Tan Xiaoyu, who is an expert at the Shanghai Academy of Educational Sciences.

Nearly half of all parents in the report said entrance exams for schools, as well as universities, should have a complete overhaul to diminish academic pressure among students. To address this issue, the report suggests academic assessment should only be based on test results. Instead, teachers and schools should try to consider promoting academic development.

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