China will carry out a comprehensive inspection on all online after-school training institutions and set up records on the institutions, their training content and teacher credentials by the end of this year as part of its oversight of the rapidly expanding industry, the Ministry of Education said.

The country has carried out inspections on brick-and-mortar after-school training institutions since early 2018 to cut the excessive workload on primary and middle school students. The ministry said 269,911 after-school institutions, or 98.9 percent of the 272,842 establishments that were found to be problematic, had completed rectifications by December 30.

Teachers at online after-school training institutions should obtain teaching credentials and training institutions should not hire teachers from public schools, said a guideline issued by the ministry and five other departments to regulate online after-school training institutions.

It is the first guideline issued by the ministry targeting online after-school training institutions, as many brick-and-mortar training institutions are quickly expanding their business online to evade government oversight.

Online training institutions that hire foreign teachers should follow relevant regulations for foreigners to work in China. They also should publish the education background, work history and teaching experience of foreign teachers on the platform, it said.

All online tutoring courses should be finished before 9 pm, each course should last less than 40 minutes and courses for first and second grade students should not require homework, the guideline said.

Online training institutions should not teach ahead of the national syllabus and they should keep records on all training content and information for at least one year, it said.

They should not charge fees for more than three months or 60 classes ahead of training, and training fees should not be used for other investment, the guideline said.