The second, less usual, form is the “collective home school” such as the one now run by Mr Yuan in Xiamen. The teacher often charges a fee—in Mr Yuan’s case, about 50,000 yuan ($7,070) annually per pupil.
It may be that the government, while trying to discourage the practice
Anecdotal evidence points to this. One parent in Shanghai whose pre-teen daughter is home schooled says she received a surprise call a few months ago from the local education department. The parent was asked where her child was enrolled. She told the truth and has not been contacted since. She says several other home-schooling families in Shanghai have had the same experience—suggesting officials are turning a blind eye
Officials may wonder whether home-schooling parents are complying. Xu Xuejin, the founder of an online club for such people, is playing safe. He recently took down his website to protect the identity of its members.
In the West home schooling, once regarded as eccentric, has become more popular in recent decades. In China officials are wary. They say schools play a vital role in turning children into “builders of socialism”. But growing numbers of Chinese parents are rebelling.