The Chinese Communist Party strictly controls the transformation of public schools for profit, and some private schools are desperate

China takes steps to limit the role of private schools in the nine-year compulsory education stage.

The Chinese Communist Party takes steps to limit the role of private schools in the nine-year compulsory education stage. The State Council issued new rules to restrict public schools from operating private schools for profit and to strengthen the decision-making and prosecutorial powers of Party organizations in such schools. Some education scholars fear that some private schools in China will come to an end as a result of increased government control. (By Gao Feng/Liu Shaofeng)

After China’s reform and opening up in the 1980s, private and international capital gradually entered the primary education sector, and a large number of private schools emerged in various cities. These schools introduced foreign teaching methods and advanced equipment and became very popular with middle-class parents.

In recent years, the role of private education in the nine-year compulsory education has been a growing concern for the authorities. China’s State Council on Friday announced revised regulations on the management of private education, emphasizing at the outset that the composition of the decision-making body of private schools must include the head of the party organization, and that members of the party organization must be included in the decision-making and supervisory bodies of the school, and that schools that fail to ensure that the party organization fulfills its responsibilities must be held legally responsible.

The regulations also emphasize that private schools must be for the public good, stipulating that public schools implementing compulsory education may not open or transform into private schools, while other public schools may not open private schools of a profit-making nature. The private schools are not allowed to charge students and parents fees associated with enrollment in the name of sponsorship fees.

The company’s main goal is to provide a comprehensive range of services to the public.

Cheng Fangping said: for example, now some famous public schools, which run branch schools, originally public schools, but it has become a fee-paying school, and some local governments also want to use the name of these famous schools to attract parents to send their children to school, if the system is not clear, you are not purely public schools. We have had this situation, that is, the public school has not been doing well, but there is a private school group it is very experienced in this area, it trust, but the cost should not be passed on to the students.

He criticized some public schools for wandering into the gray area for profit.

Cheng Fangping said: international schools were very clear, but now it is also very vague, some public schools have the so-called international department, that is, it is part of the fee. Is this in line with education policies and regulations? If not, these should be clearly defined.

Fang Jun, a media personality who follows education in China, believes that the new rules are an important stabilization tool for the current regime.

Fang Jun said: From the perspective of capitalist marketization, some famous primary and secondary schools in the U.S. and Britain are private schools, which can play a better role in education than public schools. Throughout Europe, all public schools are not allowed to use any philosophy, science, aesthetics or even political ideology to manage education, but today’s China is just the opposite, not only do public schools have to follow the will of the Party, but even now some Not only do public schools have to do what the Party wants, but even some private schools are now required to do so. There is really no room for private schools to do anything but make money.

He said the move is no different from the Communist Party’s efforts to fix tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent in the name of anti-monopoly.

Fang Jun said: Today’s Communist Party (idea) is that if you make a lot of money, you may have to be banned, or like Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Services, I have to merge with you, or take your actual operation outlawed or absorbed into it in a state-run way.

Fang Jun says this means there is almost no room for private schools with religious overtones in China to survive.

In Shanghai we see the Catholic Xuhui Middle School, and in Guangzhou some Christian middle schools have a long history of operation, but the current situation is that these schools must follow the requirements of private education,” Fang said. There are two options: one, get down on your knees, or two, end it slowly, and maybe even have to turn the school property and school land, etc., into government property through different means.

As of 2018, there are 183,500 private schools of all types across China, accounting for 35.35% of the country’s schools; 53,782,100 private students are enrolled, accounting for 19.51% of the country’s student population.