NEWS: Online English platforms officially request teaching certificates

(August 9, 2019) We knew it was coming soon. The major online teaching platforms (including VIPKid and Gogokid) are now officially requesting that their teachers upload valid teaching certificates to their teacher profiles.

On July 30, VIPKid asked its existing teachers to complete the official VIPKid TESOL course or show proof of completing a 120-hour, TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA certificate before September 30, 2019.

Gogokid has sent e-mails to its teachers requesting they show proof of a teaching certificate “as soon as you can.”

PalFish, iTutor Group, Whales English, and DaDa already started requiring them earlier in the year.

This comes on the heels of an official government press release from the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) outlining new regulations. (the article is in Chinese, but can be translated to English with Google Chrome)

In addition to now officially requiring the teaching certificate, the Chinese Ministry of Education has said “The duration of online classes should be set at a maximum of 40 minutes. The interval between the courses should be no less than 10 minutes.”

They have also stated “the live training time must not conflict with the teaching time of primary and secondary schools. Training for primary school 1-2 grades is not allowed. The live training activities for students in the compulsory education stage in China should be completed no later than 21:00.”

They have not yet indicated which age groups will not be allowed to take class after 9:00 p.m. Beijing time.

The MOE also announced “the employment of foreign personnel must comply with relevant state regulations. The training personnel's name, photos and teacher qualifications should be publicized in a prominent position on the training platform and course interface to publicize the learning, work and teaching experience of foreign trainers.”

This may come as no surprise to some teachers, but we wanted to be sure all teachers know what information is being published to parents on their company’s platform.

From what we can gather so far, the “relevant state regulations” are that foreign teachers:

  • must have a bachelor’s degree

  • must regularly complete a regular criminal background check

  • must have a teaching certificate of at least 120 hours (TESOL, TEFL, CELTA or state/provincial teaching license)

Online English Teaching will stay on top of this story and will report on more details about the 9:00 p.m. restriction as details are released.