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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    The Party's Over

    China's tutoring ban hits overseas teachers and cultural links







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    China's tutoring ban hits overseas teachers and cultural links

    China's crackdown on extracurricular classes, banning tutoring firms from hiring overseas teachers, means many students will be cut off from the outside world (AFP/Ed JONES)

    By Laurie Chen and Poornima Weerasekara (AFP)
    Sat, September 25, 2021, 8:46 AM

    Every morning, Sam Josti logged on from her US home to teach children halfway around the world, just one of thousands of foreign language tutors giving Chinese students a rare window into Western culture.

    But tutors like Massachusetts-based Josti have taken a sharp financial hit after Beijing's harsh crackdown on extracurricular classes pulled down the blinds over the world outside for Chinese students.

    Foreign language teaching firms had long tapped into a vast demand for English in China, where armies of parents are eager to get their kids ahead in a cut-throat education system in which a single exam can determine a life's trajectory.
    That came to a crashing halt in August when Beijing announced education reforms that banned tutoring firms from hiring overseas teachers.

    The rules -- which also forced tutoring platforms to turn their businesses non-profit and barred some classes during weekends and holidays -- are framed by Beijing as necessary to alleviate stress on overworked students and reduce education costs.
    Critics say they are also cutting off Chinese children from outside influences, as an increasingly nationalistic Beijing moves to reassert socialist ideology in the country's classrooms.

    "I understand wanting to take pressure off parents... but not why it's been so sudden and harsh," said 44-year-old Josti, a former elementary school teacher who switched to full-time online tutoring in 2017.

    "We were bridging the gap between the two countries, and it seems to have stopped before we could finish it," she told AFP, fearing cultural exchange will now be lost.
    "On a personal level, it's heartbreaking."

    - 'Socialist values' -

    Cindy Mi, the founder of online learning platform VIPKid, told Chinese state TV in March that her company had 800,000 Chinese students, in what she called an online "global classroom".

    But just a few months later, VIPKid announced it would no longer sell English classes with tutors based overseas -- the core of its business model -- because of the new rules.

    Other distance learning platforms such as GOGOKID and 51talk quickly followed suit.

    Canadian VIPKid tutor Tim Gascoigne said the changes have shut down an exciting space for cultural exchange and learning.
    "A lot of what went on was edutainment -- fun, interactive short lessons with native speakers, and it was great cross-cultural communication," he told AFP.

    The reforms appear to be part of broader measures to control what is learnt in the classroom, coming after China last year banned foreign teaching materials and ordered the president's political ideology, Xi Jinping Thought, to be taught in all schools.
    "(Chinese leaders) are paying attention to several factors such as socialist values, patriotism and educational sovereignty," said Claudia Wang, education partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman.

    "Perhaps it is difficult to count on a US or European teacher to teach a Chinese kid history or patriotism."

    - Black market tutoring -

    Since vast demand still exists for English tutoring, tutors say there is an emerging black market.

    Some education platforms are trying to recruit foreign teachers within China to give extra tutoring classes, said Jessica, a former staffer at an education agency in Beijing.

    Others are offering informal classes on social media platforms.

    There were over 400,000 foreign teachers in China in 2017, according to a state media survey -- although some expatriates have since relocated due to the pandemic and tight border controls.

    "Most kids I know still have a way to learn English and buy whatever they need," added Jessica.
    Many Chinese parents prefer foreign teachers for conversation practice and particularly for spoken English, according to mother Wang Xiaogui.

    "My daughter misses her teacher a lot," said Wang, whose 14-year-old daughter Wendy in the eastern city of Shaoxing took regular lessons from an American teacher.

    "The teacher really cared about my child," she added.
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat russellsimpson's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see how far authorities are willing to go to enforce this. Relations with China are heading exactly in the wrong direction. Damn shame, we just can't catch a break these days. In terms of the students I'd like to say 'where there's a will, there's a way'. In this case, that may not be true.
    Deputy Teak Door Contrarian

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Just more actions to benefit only the Beijing Politbureau.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat Saint Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russellsimpson View Post
    It will be interesting to see how far authorities are willing to go to enforce this. Relations with China are heading exactly in the wrong direction. Damn shame, we just can't catch a break these days. In terms of the students I'd like to say 'where there's a will, there's a way'. In this case, that may not be true.
    How many non-sequiturs can you jam into one paragraph? And then finish with a fence sit.

  5. #5
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Wouldn't you guys be all in favour of this? I mean westerners that actually live in China have this toxic habit of getting on Youtube or Facebook and saying things like "Hey, it ain't too bad". Or walking around Xinjiang, while filming. This is taboo in the CIA book of rules.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    You're quite spectacularly missing the point of this, aren't you. Added to which - good, let them isolate themselves and crawl back under the rock they so dearly love

  7. #7
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    1.4 bn Chinese are feeling very lonely and isolated right now PH. I can feel it in my aura.

    The best perspective I've heard is of course from a forbidden source- Cujo, a westerner who actually lives and works in China (Traitor!).
    He points out that basically the system sucked, was rampant with abuse, and was indeed in need of reform. But XI who must be obeyed will probably fuck it up.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    This is taboo in the CIA book of rules
    ...so, you've studied this volume closely then...

    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I can feel it in my aura.
    ...normally referred to as the aura cavity and located just below your cloaca...

  9. #9
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Cloaca- nice one TC! You've been reading books I see.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Cloaca- nice one TC!
    ....so, tickled your cloaca then...

  11. #11
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Truly an orifice for all seasons.

  12. #12
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    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    I am not making any value judgments.
    Iit might be the wrong approach, and might have unforeseen consequences, but the internet had been weaponized , as evident by a large proportion of the population in the west that believes idiotic concepts and is disrupting the political process and national development in those countries.
    China is attempting to defend against incoming attacks to their political model that in their view and the view of many others has been hugely successful by many measures.
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    I am not making any value judgments.
    ....*cough*...yes, in fact you are...

  14. #14
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    But of course, you are not.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ....*cough*...yes, in fact you are...
    I would have that cough looked at if I was you
    No I am not , I am making an observation. No where did I say I approve on their method, in fact i said. "Iit might be the wrong approach, and might have unforeseen consequences, "

  16. #16
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Gunboat diplomacy- fire a shot across their bows, so they will change course. Or else.....

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