China passes law to cut homework pressure on students

In recent months, the education ministry has limited gaming hours for minors, allowing them to play online for one hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only

  
Junior high students wearing face masks attend a class on their first day of returning to school following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China March 16, 2020. cnsphoto via REUTERS.

Junior high students wearing face masks attend a class on their first day of returning to school following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China March 16, 2020. cnsphoto via REUTERS.

SHANGHAI - China has passed an education law that seeks to cut the "twin pressures" of homework and off-site tutoring in core subjects, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

Beijing has exercised a more assertive paternal hand this year, from tacking the addiction of youngsters to online games, deemed a form of "spiritual opium", to clamping down on "blind" worship of internet celebrities.

China's parliament said on Monday it would consider legislation to punish parents if their young children exhibit "very bad behaviour" or commit crimes.  

The new law, which has not been published in full, 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, thereby reducing pressure, said the agency, and avoiding overuse of the internet.

In recent months, the education ministry has limited gaming hours for minors, allowing them to play online for one hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.

It has also cut back on homework and banned after-school tutoring for major subjects during the weekend and holidays, concerned about the heavy academic burden on overwhelmed children.

(Reporting by Steven Bian and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by William Mallard) ((Albee.Zhang@thomsonreuters.com;))


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