As China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) works to reduce the stress placed on students, its attention continues to be focused on the online teaching industry, which brings in an estimated $37 billion US dollars each year.1 In late 2018, the MOE began introducing new policies in an effort to regulate the ever-growing online educational industry.
The first policy, announced in 2018, requires that all online English teachers have TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certification and hold university degrees. This closely followed the regulations set forth for brick-and-mortar after school programs, which requires schools to only hire qualified foreign teachers.
Some of foreign teachers’ personal information to be made accessible to students
New regulations announced July 12th, 2019 by the MOE take this policy a step further by requiring all online educational companies to publish clearly on their platform the personal information of their foreign teachers.2 The statement released by the MOE and five other departments “requires online education platforms to publicly display the personal information of any foreign teachers they employ, including their names, photographs, teaching qualifications, and previous academic and professional experience.” Publicly, in this case, means “visible to tutors’ own students only,” not the general public. According to Caixin Global, the MOE did this to address “public concern about online tutors’ purported qualifications and the safety of their pupils.”3
Class length to be shortened and more
Additionally, to reduce the workload and stress of students, new regulations have also been added that dictate when students can take online lessons and for how long. Now, all online English classes, as well as classes in other subjects, are required to be 40 minutes or less for all students up to grade 9. And, classes should end by 9 pm BJT and not conflict with their brick-and-mortar school time.
Online education programs in China that do not meet these requirements will be given a set amount of time to rectify any issues. Should they fail to do so within a timely manner, those companies will be blacklisted and dealt with according to the law.4
Citations for China’s Ministry of Education Introduces New Regulations For Online ESL Teaching
1 Chan, Elaine. “China Private Education Industry Is Booming despite Economic Slowdown.” South China Morning Post. March 25, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3003163/education-education-education-chinas-private-tutoring.
2 “The New Regulations for Online Education Supervision Are Released!” 微信公众平台. July 14, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/61uHabIeuSGgmfpMaXGcZg.
3 Runhua, Zhao. “Foreign Teachers to Be Identified Under New Government Rules.” Caixin Global – China News, Politics, Economics, Business & Finance. July 16, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-07-16/foreign-teachers-to-be-identified-under-new-government-rules-101440016.html.
4 “The New Regulations for Online Education Supervision Are Released!” 微信公众平台. July 14, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2019. https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/61uHabIeuSGgmfpMaXGcZg.
Dalissa McEwen is passionate about education and believes that learning is a lifelong pursuit. When unable to find educational resources in her own community, she founded an educational co-op for over 100 families and had articles on education published online. Prior to jumping into the field of online education, one of her favorite jobs was working as the Editor-in-Chief of a magazine focused on art, music, and culture. She’s also worked in the field of social media for the past 25 years.
Currently, Dalissa is ALO7’s social media manager and blog editor. In her free time, she volunteer teaches art at a local center for Latinx immigrants, and she shows her personal artwork in galleries.
She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, USA, and TESOL certification.