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The Ministry of Education recently released a statement saying it will to ban English classes for preschoolers starting early July, including English coursework.


In order to curb academic stress, China’s Ministry of Education banned classes that include primary school-level Chinese language, mathematics, and English coursework from being taught to children within a certain age range, as well as preparing for the test. It also prohibits kindergartens from holding competition classes like those for the International Mathematical Olympiad.

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Ministry of Education released an announcement: ban from teaching pre-schoolers too much knowledge.



Kindergartens should not be the same school environment as older children. There should be no classroom, no lesson, no homework and especially no exams. Playing, the Ministry announced, should be the first and only thing for young children to focus on.

 

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Photo credit: Weibo



Children can (and should) enjoy learning in a dynamic and lively way by getting used to playing with others as well as by themselves. They can discover numbers while playing games and the alphabet with songs. The Ministry of Education also aims to cultivate their good habits like washing clothes by themselves, doing housework for their parents, and learning good manners. 

 

Many parents viewed the government's recent move as lacking consistency and expressed their disappointment in the policy’s approach. From their perspective, not letting their children “lose at the starting line” is a common mentality among Chinese parents. While the Chinese government wants to lower academic stress, many parents are unhappy about the ban.


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Photo credit: Weibo



Private training institutions and day care centers are also banned from teaching pre-schoolers knowledge, and offer overwhelming course loads instead.

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Photo credit: blog.163.com 龙南幼儿园



A parent told Hubei Television that she has no choice but to let her child study the curriculum of higher levels.

 

To many students, advanced teaching is essential to doing well in standardized testing which remains a core part of China’s education system and their success beyond their academic years. But to the Chinese Ministry of Education, this approach teaches a “negative behavior” that is “adamant to rectify”. 

 

“In Finland, they are more relaxed. We believe children under seven years old are not ready to start school,” says Tiina Marjoniemi, the head of a daycare center. “They need time to play and be physically active. It’s a time for creativity.”

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Source: ishou.cn



"Indeed the main aim of early-years education is not explicitly 'education' in its formal sense, but rather the promotion of health and wellbeing for our children. Daycares exist to help them develop good social habits: to learn how to make friends and respect others, for example, or to dress themselves competently. The official guidance also emphasizes the importance of pre-schools in introducing the “joy of learning”, language enrichment, and communication. There is an emphasis on physical activity (at least 90 minutes of outdoor playing time every day). Kindergartens in Finland don’t focus on preparing young children for school academically,” writes a Shenzhen kindergarten teacher, Pasi Sahlberg. “Instead, the main goal is to make sure that the children are happy and responsible individuals.”

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Photo credit: blog.sina.com.cn



The end of April 2019 will mark the deadline to implement this new policy. But what does this mean for the tens of thousands of English teachers across the country? Are they in danger of losing their jobs as the government is set to ban English education for children who are attending preschool? The answer remains unknown for the time being. However, it's very likely that the demand for training institution and kindergarten English teachers will decrease over time. 

 

Although teaching English is not entirely prohibited, teachers can adjust their teaching method in a way that will make the whole learning process more fun than a burden, such as conveying English knowledge by singing a song or playing interactive games.

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