China bars foreign curriculum, ownership in some private schools



© Reuters.

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s State Council announced new laws halting the teaching of foreign curriculum in schools from kindergarten to grade nine (K-9) and prohibiting the ownership or control of any private K-9 schools by foreign entities.

The laws, which will come into effect on Sept. 1, are the latest in a series of measures taken by Beijing to tighten control of its fast-growing education sector and public discourse.

China currently has private K-9 schools which teach local and foreign 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.

($1 = 6.4308 renminbi

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