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China cram schools learn new tricks under tutoring crackdown

New Oriental and TAL woo parents to spend on 'noncore' classes like cooking

A high school classroom in Wuhan: For-profit tutors in China have been banned from teaching core subjects like Chinese.   © Reuters

DALIAN, China -- From science experiments to cooking classes, Chinese education companies are trying to reinvent their business model nearly a year after a ban on tutoring in the core curriculum reversed years of earnings growth.

Blowing up enormous balloons will be among the 360 or so hands-on lessons and programs on offer at the science learning centers being launched next month by New Oriental Education & Technology Group in seven cities, including Chongqing and Chengdu. The plan is to expand the chain with the aim of drawing 5,000 students this year.

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