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Notice on Changing Filings to Approvals for Existing Online Academic Training Institutions

Promulgation Date: 2021-9-10
Title: 教育部办公厅等六部门关于做好现有线上学科类培训机构由备案改为审批工作的通知
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: 教育部办公厅 工业和信息化部办公厅 公安部办公厅等

To each province, autonomous region, and directly governed municipality's department of education (education commission), Internet information office, Communications administration, public security office (bureau), civil affairs department (bureau), market supervision bureau (office or commission), and the bureaus of education, internet information, public security, civil affairs, and market supervision of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

The following notice is given so as to implement the "Opinions on Further Reducing the Burden on Students in the Compulsory Education Phase from Homework and Extracurricular Training" of the General Office of the Party Central Committee, and the State Council's General Office (Hereinafter the "two reductions document"), in accordance with the requirement of 'changing filing of online academic training institutions to an approval system.

I. General Requirements

With Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as guidance, comprehensively implement the Party's education directives and thoroughly govern extracurricular training institutions. Persist in following laws and regulations: carry out approvals of online institutions in accordance with the PRC Law on the Promotion of Private Education and its implementation regulations, ensuring complete licensure and regulating operations. Persist in strict approvals: teaching permits are not to be issued to those that don't meet the requirements, and those without permits must not engage in paid online academic training in any form. Persist in coordinated governance: Strengthen coordination and division of labor between departments, and simplify work procedures. By the end of 2021omplete approvals work for online academic training institutions that have already filed, and simultaneously establish corresponding oversight and management systems; existing online institutions should suspend the recruitment of new students and the collection of fees until teaching permits and corresponding licenses are obtained in accordance with law.

II. Implement a System of Approvals

(1) Approval and Registration Organs

The Ministry of Education is to collaborate with the relevant departments to clarify the basi requirements for approving online institutions; provincial level administrative departments for education are to carry out approvals for online institutions in accordance with uniform set-up requirements, issue teaching permits after an approval is passed, and register them as for-profit or non-profit legal persons with the civil affairs departments or market supervision departments at that level respectively. Online academic training institutions for students in the compulsory education stage are all to be registered as non-profit legal persons.

(2) The Specified Subjects of Approvals

Online academic training institutions for primary and secondary school students that had already filed in accordance with the "Implementation Opinions for Standardizing Extracurricular Online Training by 6 Ministries including the Ministry of Education before the release of the 'two reductions' document.

(3) Uniform Requirements for Set-up

1. Basic Requirements. (1) Work venues. A fixed offline workplace must be established in the area where an institution is registered. (2) Offline physical training venues. Online training institutions must set up fixed offline physical training locations in the area where they are registered, and they should be compliant with the local standards for setting up offline extracurricular training institutions. (3) Start-up funds. They must have financial strength corresponding to the level, type, and scale of training. (4) Name. The names of institutions shall comply with the relevant provisions of the departments for education, civil affairs, and market regulation on reviewing names. (5) Servers. Posses private or leased servers that perform reliably, and servers must be set up within China. (6) Personnel. The person responsible for the institution must possess PRC citizenship and reside in the mainland territory; teaching and research personnel must obtain primary or secondary school teaching credential test certification; and the recruitment of foreign personnel must comply with relevant state provisions. (7) Network Security Standards. Strictly implement the requirements of laws and regulations such as the "Cybersecurity Law of the PRC" and the "Data Security Law of the PRC", to reach the standards of level 3 or higher cybersecurity protections. (8) The management of educational mobile internet applications (education APPs) The providers of educational mobile applications shall establish data safeguard systems that cover the collection, storage, and transmission of personal information and other such stages, and online exctracurricular trainning apps that store more than 1,000,000 persons' personal information should go through personal information protection impacts assessments, certification, or compliance audits.

2. Training Provisions. (1) Healthy content. The implemented training content is to comply with the Party's education directives and the requirements of fostering virtue through education. Preserve ideological security and persist in the separation of education and religion, they must not be content or links that include obscenity, violence, terror, gambling, and video games that are unrelated to study; illlegal publications must not be published, printed, reproduced, or disseminated; and infringing or pirating activity must not be engaged in. (2) Teaching compliance. Training personnel's names, pictures, teaching credentials, and other such information should be bisplayed in a conspicuous location on the training platorm and class interfaces. The degree of difficulty and progress of the course is to be appropriate, and must not exceed the corresponding national curriculum standards, must correspond the enrollmee's grade and the individual abilities of the student; for trainees who are in the compulsory education phase, international curriculum must not be introduced and foreign teaching materials must not be used. (3) Appropratie class times. The length of training should be reasonably set through comprehensive consideration of the students' age and other such factors, and each class must not exceed 30 minutes, with at least 10 minutes between classes; further, the time of live training must not conflict with primary and secondary school hours; classes for students in the compulsory education phase must not conclude later than 9:00 PM. (4) Controllable platforms. Training institutions need to provide content review accounts with corresponding permissions to the competent administrative department for education. Online extracurricular training platforms shall possess functions for protecting eyes and for parental regulation, and the platforms' training content and corresponding data and information must be stored for one year or more (video of live instruction must be stored for at least six months).

3. Management requirements. (1) Pay attention to Party construction. When online insitutions are set up, they must adhere to and strengthen the Party's leadership, simultaneously planning Party construction, setting up Party organizations, and carrying out Party work, to ensure the correct orientation of teaching. (2) Charter drafting. When online institutions are set up, they must draft standardized charters clarifying the goals of the training, the scope of operations, decision-making mechanisms, fund management, safeguard requirements, service pledges, and other such matters. (3) Clarify the management of fee collection and refunds. When online institutions are set up, they must strictly implement the national level provisions on institutions' management of the collection and refund of fees, establishing and completing systems or managing financial resources as well as corresponding methods for fee collection and refunds, and accept oversight from relevant departments on the institutions' designated accounts for school and miscellaneous expenses; and online institutions registered as non-profit legal persons must implement the "Accounting System for Private Non-Profit Organizations". (4) Standardize contract signing. When online institutions are set up, they should provide the text of the contract they plan to employ, and the templates for contracts (service agreements) that they provide shall comply with the principle of fairness in determining the rights and obligations of the parties, and effectively fulfill obligations to give notices and explanations; they must not include unfair and unreasonable clauses such as eliminations or restrictions on consumers' rights, reductions or waivers of the proprietors' responsibilities, or increasing consumers' responsibilities. (5) Regulate marketing and publicity. Online academic training institutions conducting marketing and publicity shall comply with relevant laws and regulations, and must not go against the requirements of the 'two reductions' document.

In collaboration with relevant departments, each provincial-level administrative department for education should refine detailed work rules based on the uniform set-up requirements, to clarify the process for changing filings to approvals, and all necessary materials and related matters.

3. Permit issuance, license applications, and information updates

(1) Issuance of permits. The administrative departments for education are to promptly issue teaching permits for online institutions that have been approved and urge them to conduct the corresponding registration as a legal person. Institutions that are not approved the first time may be given a single opportunity to make corrections and report back for approval after the corrections are in place; where the corrections are not sufficient, further reviews for approval are not to be granted, the prior filings and registration are to be canceled, and the provincial-level administrative departments for education hall notify the provincial administrative department for telecommunications of the list of online institutions that have not passed approvals of approval results, to cancel the corresponding Internet information service filings and value-added telecommunications business licenses.

(2) Applications for relevant licenses. After online academic training institutions are approved for teaching permits and register as legal persons, they shall perform procedures to file as internet information services with the provincial-level telecommunications department; and the content of the filings is to include the proprietors' true identity information, access information, the teaching permit issued by the administrative department for education, and so forth. Where the operation of telecommunications services is involved, they shall also comply with the relevant regulations on telecommunications management.

(3) Information updates. After online institutions apply to the relevant departments and obtain the relevant licenses, they should file with the local organ for approval of teaching licenses within five working days. At the same time, the provincial-level administrative departments for education should promptly update information on online institutions that have passed approvals through the relevant platforms. When information such as on training content or teaching personnel is changed, online institutions that have already been approved should promptly the content changes and explanatory materials.

The administrative departments for education should join together with departments such as for internet information, telecommunications, and public security to stop the online training activities of institutions that carry out online training activities in violation of laws and regulations, and give corresponding punishments in light of the circumstances.

IV. Safeguard Measures

(1) Improve work mechanisms. Each region should do overall planning for the regulation and governance of offline and online extracurricular training, establishing a coordinated work mechanism led by the education departments with relevant departments participating, appropriately drafting a detailed work plan and emergency response plans, and establishing and completing normalized management and oversight systems.

(2) Carry out comprehensive law enforcement. Administrative departments for education are to lead the way in organizing comprehensive governance of online extracurricular training, disclosing methods for complaints and reports, joining with relevant departments' existing law enforcement teams to carry out online patrol inspections and comprehensive law enforcement; and the departments for internet information, public security, and telecommunications should do a good job of efforts such as shutting down training platforms and software (including APPs) that violate regulations or removing them from the market.

(3) Strengthen accountability and evaluations. Each region should establish and complete mechanisms for accountability, making efforts on the approval of online academic training institutions a type of oversight inspections, and hold the responsible persons for units that do not implement responsibilities or do so inadequately strictly accountable, to ensure that work is completed on time.

(4) Pay attention to publicity and guidance. Each region should strengthen publicity and explanation of policy through multiple channels, making the spirit of the reform and the key points of policy widely known and deeply internalized, forming a positive work environment and public opinion environment.

General Office of the Ministry of Education, Secretariat of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Office

General Office of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, General Office of the Ministry of Public Security

General Office of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, General Office of the State Administration of Market Regulation



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