Four Zhejiang localities praised for providing after-school services
The Ministry of Education recently published a list of 23 localities which have exceled in providing after-school services.
The government document summarized these localities' innovations and advantages for the rollout of after-class sessions across four aspects - coverage rate, time span, service quality, and regulation - so that all the other places in the country could follow suit.
On the list are four localities in East China's Zhejiang province. They are Jinhua city, Taizhou's Jiaojiang district, Shaoxing's Shangyu district, and Anji county.
Jinhua city has so far rolled out after-school services in 392 primary schools which enroll 275,000 students, accounting for 72.3 percent of the city's primary school student population. The number of teaching staff engaged in the after-school service has reached 19,000, making up 91.3 percent of the city's population of primary school teachers.
Since the beginning of 2020, more than 110,000 students in Jinhua have stopped attending training at private institutions because of the launch of after-class sessions by their schools. To ensure that parents can conveniently pick up their children after work, the schools conclude these daily sessions no earlier than when people working in local government organizations and enterprises end their work day.
The content for the city's after-class sessions varies across different schools but is primarily focused on self-study and homework tutoring. Elective courses such as science, arts, sports, labor, and child psychology are also offered.
The charge for the city's after-class sessions is 500 yuan ($77.4) per semester and is waived for families facing financial difficulties.
Throughout 2020, the city's education authorities conducted 42 rounds of inspections on the schools' after-school services, spotting 21 flaws and addressing them accordingly.
The education ministry has recently stepped up its encouragement of after-school services as it aims to ease the burden of parenting following the announcement last month that China's birth limit has been increased from two to three children per couple.