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China passes new education law; seeks to cut 'twin pressures' of homework, off-site tutoring

On Monday, China's parliament said it would examine laws to penalise parents if their young children display "extremely terrible behaviour" or commit crimes.
 

China passes new education law seeks to cut 'twin pressures' of homework off-site tutoring gcw
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Beijing, First Published Oct 23, 2021, 12:45 PM IST
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According to the official Xinhua news agency, China has enacted an education law to reduce the "twin burdens" of homework and off-site tutoring in essential courses. This year, Beijing has taken a more active paternal stance, from combating young people's addiction to online gaming, which has been labelled a type of "spiritual opium," to cracking down on the "blind" devotion of internet superstars. On Monday, China's parliament said it would examine laws to penalise parents if their young children display "extremely terrible behaviour" or commit crimes.

The new law, which has not yet been published in its entirety, makes local governments responsible for ensuring that the twin pressures are reduced and asks parents to arrange their children's time to account for reasonable rest and exercise, reducing pressure and avoiding overuse of the internet, according to the agency.

In recent months, the education ministry has restricted kids' gaming hours, letting them play online for one hour only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Concerned about the tremendous academic strain on overburdened youngsters, it has also reduced homework and outlawed after-school tutoring for main courses during weekends and holidays.

Also Read | Chinese kids under 18 can now play online games for only for three hours per week

While some news sites report that the ban applies to all video games, the National Press and Publication Administration's (NPPA) enforcement mechanism focuses particularly on online games and gaming-related internet enterprises. According to media reports, gaming facilities would be prohibited from offering any services to minors outside of the specified hours. They'll have to utilise real-name verification procedures.

People under the age of 18 will purportedly be allowed to play video games only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, limiting minors to three hours most weeks. Young people are prohibited from gaming at any time throughout the week, Monday through Thursday, under the new laws, which apply to all electronics, including phones.

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