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New Oriental Center shut down, sparking mixed reactions from public and parents

An internet-famous whistle-blower who has exposed the wrongdoings of many industries grabbed online attention again recently. This time for reporting an after-school tutoring center of New Oriental Education & Technology Group in Hangzhou.

The tutoring school has been shut down by authorities for four days, said one student at the school. The report has sparked a mixed reaction from the public, with some support the whistle-blower, while a lot of parents are not happy with the school being shut down.

Hangzhou’s Education Bureau asked the school to close on Monday, and it is still unknown when the school can resume classes, one staff member of the school told thecover.cn on Thursday.

Hangzhou tutoring school shut down, sparking mixed reactions from public and parents

The whistle-blower 铁头 confronts the school’s staff member last Friday, claiming them to have violated the regulations on off-campus classes.

In the meantime, the material of the tip-off is being reviewed by the education bureau, and other off-campus tutoring schools within the same district in Hangzhou are being investigated as well.

Chinese authorities rolled out a series of strict regulations to deal with after-school training in 2021, with an aim to ease the burden on students’ undergoing compulsory education.

The whistle-blower posted four videos on the tutoring school in Hangzhou since last week, saying he has handed in materials and documents to local education bureau and market regulators.

Also, he claims that the school should return the tuition fees to parents, stop all their off-campus classes, and receive administrative punishment.

Hangzhou tutoring school shut down, sparking mixed reactions from public and parents

铁头’s recent videos are all about the off-campus tutoring industry.

More than 100,000 people left comments in 铁头’s videos. It’s worth-noting that a lot of parents support the school and they believe there’s nothing wrong with their children using their summer break to have off-campus classes.

Some pointed out that what 铁头 did is an act of justice, for not every parent can afford off-campus tutoring classes for their child.

A woman surnamed Zhu is displeased with the school being shut down. “This is an act of clout-chasing, 铁头 did this for the attention.”

She claims that her child asked for tutoring class voluntarily and she needs them to up her grades, Zhu told thecover.cn.

Another student said almost all of his classmates are having off-campus classes one way or the other. Without them, the grade gap between classmates will only be widened.

Despite the regulations against off-campus schools, the tutoring schools just found out better ways to hide from authorities, said a woman surnamed Zhong, who has been in the industry for years.

Other than large tutoring school brands, some private schools are also very active. They run their classes in discrete places such as bubble tea shops and fast food outlets. Other will run under the cover of nurseries, Zhong added.

The existence of the off-campus tutoring schools reflects some unsolved problems in our education systems, such as the huge importance attached to entrance exams to high schools and colleges, said Ji Dahai, a researcher with Sichuan Xinchuang Institute of Education.

Some parents and their children also need to find a way to spend the long summer break, so the parents would rather have their children go to off-campus classes than playing on their phones all day, Ji added

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