China enacted a law to reduce school pressure for children

China passed a law to reduce the “double pressure” of homework and extra-curricular lessons for children, expected to come into effect from January 1 next year.

Local authorities are required to “close supervision” to reduce the burden of homework and extra-curricular lessons for students, Xinhua citing the new law passed on October 23 by the Chinese government.

“Parents must rationally allocate time for study, rest, recreation and physical activity for their children, so as not to increase the learning burden and avoid internet addiction,” Xinhua quoted the new law as saying.

The law will take effect on January 1, 2022.

Three children at a train station in Shanghai, China on March 5, 2020.  Photo: Reuters.

Three children at a train station in Shanghai, China on March 5, 2020. Photo: Reuters.

In recent months, China has imposed a number of rules aimed at combating activities seen as harmful to youth development. Beijing has banned minors from playing online games for more than three hours a week, in an attempt to tackle internet addiction. The government is also cracking down on tutoring companies, requiring them to switch to a non-profit form of operation.

The exam-heavy education system forces students to take many exams from an early age, culminating in the college entrance exam, commonly known as the “gaokao”, where grades can determine their future. .

Many parents have spent large sums of money to enroll their children in the best schools or private schools, resulting in financial burden and impact on children’s health.

Reducing the pressure on children to study is also seen as a way to encourage many Chinese to have more children, as the population shrinks to its lowest level in nearly 60 years, despite abandoning the one-child policy a few years ago.

Thanh Tam (Follow AFP, Guardian)

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