The Chinese government's slew of laws to regulate the personal lives of its citizens continues. On Saturday, a report by Reuters, quoting China's official Xinhua news agency, said that the state has passed an education law that seeks to cut the "twin pressures" of homework and off-site tutoring in core subjects for students.
Beijing has exercised a more assertive paternal hand this year, from tackling the addiction of youngsters to online games, which it termed as a form of "spiritual opium", to clamping down on "blind" worship of internet celebrities. In another recent move, the state has also taken to urging young Chinese men to act more “manly”.
China's parliament had said on Monday that it would consider legislation to punish parents if their young children exhibit "very bad behaviour" or commit crimes. "There are many reasons for adolescents to misbehave, and the lack of or inappropriate family education is the major cause," Zang Tiewei, spokesman of the Legislative Affairs Commission under the National People's Congress (NPC), had recently said.
The draft family education promotion law, which will be reviewed at the NPC Standing Committee session this week, also urges parents to arrange time for their children to rest, play, and exercise.
“Now, the new law, which has not been published in full, makes local governments responsible for ensuring that the twin pressures are reduced and asks parents to arrange their children's' time to account for reasonable rest and exercise, thereby reducing pressure, said the agency, and avoiding overuse of the internet,” Reuters reports.
In recent months, the education ministry has limited gaming hours for minors, allowing them to play online for one hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. It has also cut back on homework and banned after-school tutoring for major subjects during the weekend and holidays, concerned about the heavy academic burden on overwhelmed children.