Aug 12, 2021 06:48 PM

China’s Capital Bans Foreign Textbooks

What’s new: China’s capital has banned its primary and middle schools from using overseas textbooks in a regulation (link in Chinese) designed to further control the selection of school teaching material.

The regulation, issued by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission on Monday, also asks high schools to only employ foreign textbooks in accordance with relevant national and city policies.

The aim is to strengthen the state’s role in selecting teaching materials, the education authority said in a statement (link in Chinese).

Schools are being asked to turn to the regulation to clarify inconsistencies between the city’s current textbook management system and the new rules. The institutions affected have up six months from Monday to rectify textbook use if they cannot stop using certain course material immediately.

The background: The move comes in the wake of a crackdown on the use of foreign textbooks and foreign-based education in general.

In September 2018, the Ministry of Education asked local authorities to carry out a “comprehensive investigation” of schools’ use of textbooks, including violations such as replacing the national curriculum with foreign material.

In June 2019, the State Council, China’s cabinet, issued a document (link in Chinese) prohibiting primary and middle schools from introducing foreign courses and using foreign textbooks.

Late last month, China required after-school tutoring intuitions to stop hiring foreigners teaching overseas (link in Chinese) and stop providing courses taught by foreign-based teachers.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Wang Xintong ( and editor Heather Mowbray (

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