Sav­ing Parents From Be­ing Over­charged

Le­gal Daily Novem­ber 9

Beijing Review - - THIS WEEK PEOPLE & POINTS -

Af­ter­school train­ing in­sti­tu­tions should not charge fees for more than three months in one go, ac­cord­ing to the guide­line pub­lished by the State Coun­cil in Au­gust. But in spite of the reg­u­la­tion, it’s still com­mon for train­ing in­sti­tu­tions to col­lect fees well in ad­vance, some­times even a whole year’s.

This prac­tice of pre­paid tu­ition fees has not only in­creased parents’ fi­nan­cial bur­dens, more im­por­tantly, if the in­sti­tu­tions shut down abruptly, it is hard for parents to get their money back. More­over, the

in­sti­tu­tions get in­ter­est on the money col­lected or sim­ply use the money as capital to ex­pand their busi­ness. There­fore, it’s nec­es­sary to strengthen reg­u­la­tions for such train­ing in­sti­tu­tions. How­ever, the guide­line has not pro­duced the de­sired ef­fect.

To curb the prac­tice, parents’ aware­ness of risks should be im­proved and they should refuse to pre­pay tu­ition fees. They may also file a com­plaint with rel­e­vant govern­ment de­part­ments when they are asked to pay fees for more than three months.

In re­al­ity, it’s hard to su­per­vise train­ing in­sti­tu­tions as many of them are hid­den in res­i­den­tial com­pounds. In spite of this, the au­thor­i­ties should take ef­fec­tive mea­sures to reg­u­late the mar­ket, pro­tect parents’ in­ter­ests and re­duce stu­dents’ bur­dens.

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