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Institutions instructed to vet tutors

By Zou Shuo | China Daily | Updated: 2023-07-10 09:11


Companies should ensure applicants have no sex crime history, ministry says

Tutoring institutions must ensure that background checks for sex crimes are conducted on candidates before they are hired, according to a new notice issued by the Ministry of Education.

According to the notice, all employees, including tutors and researchers, must undergo background checks.

Tutoring facilities that are looking to hire potential employees should request that the national after-school tutoring service platform check whether they have committed sex crimes, or any other crimes that would make them unfit to work around children.

Candidates guilty of such crimes should not be hired, and institutions should tell them why they were turned down, the notice said.

Candidates who feel they have been judged incorrectly have 15 days to dispute the findings.

Tutoring institutions will be held responsible for not ensuring that background checks are conducted. They must also take action if they discover that those they have already hired have a history of sex crimes, and must protect employees' personal information.

Education authorities should work with cultural and tourism, sports and technology authorities to conduct routine inspections on tutoring institutions to make sure that they are taking the steps necessary to prompt background checks.

In April, the ministry also asked schools and universities to ensure teaching candidates are screened.

They also need to check whether candidates have been included on the blacklist for teachers and whether their teaching credentials are valid.

The Criminal Law, the Law on the Protection of Minors, the Teachers Law and the Regulation on Teachers' Qualifications all stipulate that people with specific criminal records cannot work as teachers or employees in educational institutions.

Meanwhile, a guideline issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Education said that those with criminal histories that include sexual assault, sexual abuse, abduction of or violence against children are prohibited from working in the education sector.

People who have served time in prison for any crime cannot obtain teaching credentials, and if they possessed them before incarceration, they should be revoked.

It is not uncommon for employees to be caught committing sex crimes at schools or tutoring institutions in China.

In November, a court in Shenyang, Liaoning province, sentenced a tutor surnamed Sun to seven years in prison after he was found to have molested multiple female students under the age of 14 during lessons. Some of the girls suffer from depression and have become afraid to make contact with boys and men, according to the court.

Sun was also banned from working in any sector that would give him access to children.

That same month, a middle school teacher surnamed Zhou in Zhuzhou, Hunan province, was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting and molesting young female students on multiple occasions.

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