On November 23rd, Cangshan District and Taijiang District started enforcing the directive to close down unlicensed training schools/centers caught in the previous two stages of inspection this year. The first stage is set from end of May till June 15th, when special inspection teams are formed and intelligence is gathered. The 2nd stage lasts from June 15th to July 20th, when the inspection teams get down to business and give out red cards to all the illegal operators. According to Fujian Education TV, a total of 10 inspection teams were dispatched and 31 training schools/centers were ordered to suspend operation in Gulou District alone at this stage. “All that have not acquired valid licenses is not allowed to run their business”, said Mr. Zhang, the deputy director of Private Education Sector of Gulou District. According to PRC Private Education Promotion Law, all private schools/centers are required to obtain Registration from the Industry and Commerce Department and Operational License from the local Education Bureau. However, the process of getting an operational license is often criticized as being not only laborious but also expensive, which breeds non-compliance. This opinion is echoed by a proprietor of YoLe, a private piano training institute in Gulou District on one of the raid days July 20th.
The November 23rd raid is considered a precursor of the 3rd stage inspection when the previous suspense orders are reinforced and additional efforts are carried out to continue sifting through anyone that’s still operating under the radar. The third stage is planned to run towards the end of December. The 2018-2019 campaign is to be wrapped up in March 2019 and a comprehensive summary report will be made public by Fuzhou Education Bureau. What makes this year stand out is that seems to be efforts going on and following up to ensure the unlicensed schools are actually closed. An official in Cangshan Education Bureau announced yesterday that 89.5% (85 out of 95) of the unlicensed schools/centers had been confirmed to be out in Cangshan District.
P.S. Eligibility to Apply for an Operational License in Fuzhou –
- Unambiguous mission statement.
- Safety and fire prevention verification; Business venue is no less than 500 sq. m for a training school/center, and at 2,193 sq. m for a kindergarten including a minimum of 4 sq. m per capita for outdoor space.
- Evidence of fund as in 300,000 RMB for a training center; or 500,000 RMB for a school.
- Appointment of a head teacher possessing Batchelor’s Degree or above, and recruitment of a suitable size of teaching staff. Qualification of hiring Foreign Teachers is a pre-requisite if applicable.
- Stipulation of clear rules, plans and regulations.
- Adherence to guidelines issued by local Education Bureau.