China’s new education policy has plunged the stock prices of Chinese education companies listed overseas and also upended the lives of millions of teachers employed, according to a Canada-based think tank.

Beijing has introduced the “Double Reduction” policy referring to “Opinions on Further Reducing the Burden of Homework and Off-Campus Training for Compulsory Education Students” which calls for reducing students’ amount of homework, and for effectively banning after-school training classes, claiming that it will reduce the burden of homework on schoolchildren but on the contrary to has resulted into the loss of China’s 300 billion US dollars private tutoring industry as well as millions of parents and teachers.

International Forum For Rights And Security (IFFRAS) citing experts reported that shutting down the tutoring centres will not reduce the burden on the schoolchildren but the entire education system in China needs to be reformed.

Ahead of the January 1 deadline and just after the radical policy was announced, stock prices of Chinese education companies such as the US and Hong Kong has plummeted. Big names like New Oriental Education, TAL Education Group, Gaotu Techedu and Scholar Education Group were the worst hit, IFFRAS reported.

Besides owners and other stakeholders in these firms, the lives of millions of teachers employed with them have also been upended. When the clampdown was announced, China’s tutoring sector was worth a massive two trillion yuan, employing nearly 10 million people. Now, as the industry collapses, these workers have become the unfortunate collateral damage.

Many companies are getting rid of their teachers with meagre severance packages by making stringent rules and pinning the violations on employees. The number of job seekers in the education sector jumped significantly. More than half of these job seekers had already lost their prior positions, becoming vulnerable to being exploited for low wages, IFFRAS citing recruitment site Zhaopin reported.

However, justifying this clampdown, the Chinese government has blamed the private tutoring industry for igniting and fueling an unhealthy rat race.

Apart from it, parents, who have invested thousands of dollars to pre-book the classes for their children are furious. In a document shared online, hundreds of parents complained about the prepaid tuition fees that they have no way of recovering.

“Double Reduction” dictates that new tutoring institutions targeting school students will not get necessary approvals from local authorities anymore. Existing institutions will have to restructure themselves as non-profit organisations by December end. (ANI)