Last week, the municipal education bureau of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, announced that several branches of the national extracurricular training agency Xueersi were involved in improper activities in the city, and required them to temporarily close and correct the wrongdoings. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:
The Chengdu municipal education bureau has listed the wrongdoings of Xueersi, namely entrusting other agencies to hold exams and organizing academic competitions without the approval of the local government.
These activities are against government policies that promote quality education and call for cutting pupils' academic workload, and Xueersi deserves to be penalized for its wrongdoings.
However, many such agencies nationwide reportedly hold unauthorized academic competitions for pupils. The fact that Xueersi has grown so big as to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange shows how big the market is.
That phenomenon sounds absurd, but it has its own logic behind it. For ordinary people, the national college entrance exam remains the only path for a better life for their children. As schools cut the workload for pupils, many parents seek the help of extracurricular training agencies to improve their children's academic performance.
Worse, as more parents send their children to extracurricular training agencies, those who insisted on not doing so fear their children might lag behind, so they end up sending their children to training agencies as well.
Many parents have openly expressed their anger about Xueersi and similar extracurricular training agencies, but they have no choice other than to use them if their children are to compete with their peers.
That is why, when the bureau said it had got clues from people's complaints, many analysts guessed it was the parents that had blown the whistle.
However, the solution to the problem lies in better regulating the extracurricular market and changing the mindset of parents that only higher education leads to success.
(Source: China Daily)