China's Ministry of Education announced a list of government-acknowledged national student competitions Friday, a move to ease children's homework after school.
The list included 29 competitions for primary and middle school students, according to a ministry statement.
The policy of establishing such a list aimed to limit the number of competitions and protect children from doing excessive homework to prepare for unnecessary contests, the ministry statement said.
"In the past few years, an increasing number of non-governmental and profitable institutions launched various competitions for primary and middle school students, and some of them linked the outcome of competitions with admission to elite schools," the statement said. "This seriously disrupted normal school education."
The ministry entrusted an independent institution to review all national student competitions. Of all the competitions, only 29 met the review standards.
Except for those listed or initiated by the ministry, all national student competitions, including those held online, will be banned, the ministry said.
Local education departments were told to expose illegal student competitions and punish the organizers.