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February 11, 2014

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Home » Metro » Education

Parents to gain from after-school classes

Public primary school students can now stay back for free for after-school classes that will go a long way to ease the worries of working couples who are not able to pick up their children straight after school.

The classes start from today when the new semester begins, the Shanghai Education Commission announced yesterday.

Prior to the announcement yesterday, the safety of the children was always a matter of concern for working parents who were usually at work when the school was over — usually about 3:30pm.

The students will be looked after by voluntary teachers and community volunteers who will help with homework, play  games or read extracurricular books until 5:30pm, according to the commission. Parents can take the children under some special circumstances.

At the Yuyuan Road No. 1 Primary School, about 80 students in the school have applied for the after-school care, which is not a big number considering the school has over 1,300 students.

Vice Principal Zhou Hezhen said the school would provide classrooms for students to stay while the community will invite volunteers to take care of them.

“There are six volunteers, in their 40s and 50s, from the community. They will get a small salary from the community for their help,” said Zhou.

At Xingfu Primary School, teachers will take shifts to look after students without being paid. Some 70 students out of a total of 600 will attend the after-school classes.

However, Principal Dong Haijia said he is worried that some parents would force the students to the classes after seeing that the school offers a cozy place for students to do their homework and play, while  in fact they don’t really need the help. Dong said it would be difficult for teachers to sacrifice more time if there are more children.

“Schools are just offering a kind of social service to address the needs of parents. It is not the schools’ responsibility to look after the children after school. Parents should be aware of that,” said Yin Houqing, an official with the education commission.

The commission said parents should not mistake the service as extra classes for studies.



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