Kindergartens in Anhui punished for primary school classes

Kindergartens in Anhui province with a primary school curriculum face being penalized or shut down, a report by Beijing-based Legal Evening News said on Wednesday.

To regulate preschool education for children aged from 3 to 6, the Anhui provincial government has proposed draft legislation which prohibits kindergartens offering primary school curriculums, in a bid to guarantee equality while providing children with enough play time, the report said.

According to the draft, which is still under review, nursery schools should not provide any textbooks to children nor teach them academic lessons for the purpose of primary school education.

In addition, kindergartens should not organize children to take part in any kind of ceremonial or commercial activity. During school hours, any kind of special-interest courses (such as violin) or experimental classes must not be held, according to the draft.

Any kindergarten which violates the rules will be issued with a deadline to end the classes and may even be shut down.

The draft also urges local governments to invest more to improve the imbalance of preschool education resources between urban and rural areas, and to provide policy and financial support to private kindergartens.

The proposal was the latest effort to implement the government's promise to "return play time to children".