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One Year after “Double Reduction” Policy, China’s Tutoring Industry Goes Underground and Is Unreachable

China attempted to regulate the tutoring industry with a “double reduction” policy to reduce the burden on both students and parents. A year later, the tutoring industry has not disappeared, but has gone underground, with higher tuition fees and more hunting efforts that end up redistributing resources to middle and upper-class families.

For example, a parent surnamed Wu in Beijing said her child’s English class used to cost about $20,000 a year before the “double reduction,” but now it’s twice as much due to a special arrangement for a private tutor. She estimated that her daughter’s extracurricular learning costs are more than $10,000 a month. Such tutoring expenses are affordable for the Wu family. However, most Beijing families earn only a quarter of her family’s income.

Another parent in Shanghai, surnamed Fan, said her daughter can only attend a tutorial class that has been converted to a non-profit organization due to the “double reduction” policy. To cut costs, the classes have switched from physical to online. Her child has not gained much and her grades have slipped.

Fan said that although she saved money on tutoring, she had to spend more time teaching her daughter. She found she could not teach as systematically as the tutoring class and she also said it was difficult for her to find underground tutoring as other parents have been reluctant to share their information. In some cases, parents worry someone might tip off the authorities. In others, it’s because the competition at their children’s schools is so fierce. They don’t want other children to have access to the same tutor.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), July 26, 2022