Shanghai to issue certificates for parent educators

Updated: 2013-10-24 08:01

By Fan Feifei (China Daily)

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A registered certificate for professional parent educators will be issued by a talent evaluation and identification center in Shanghai to deal with the shortage of such expertise amid calls by analysts and experts to regulate training institutions.

According to the center, examination and training will be separated. The center will organize the registration and exams and issue the certificates. The certificate will be available online.

A parent educator refers to professionals taking up family education guidance, consultation and training.

It will be of benefit in resolving family problems, including poor communication between parents and children, children having difficulty with their classwork, juvenile delinquency and intergenerational education.

There is one professional parent educator on average for every 100 people in some developed countries of Europe and the United States, where there are about 3 million parent educators.

Peng Ruiqing, the assistant director of Shanghai Talent Training Market and Development Center, said the concept of the professional parent educator in China is still in its infancy, but that the demand for home tutoring is great.

Peng estimated that at least 5 million parent educators are needed in China in the near future.

He said in first-tier cities, such as Shanghai, parent educators can earn good salaries; 300 yuan ($50) to 500 yuan per hour on average and an annual income can reach more than 100,000 yuan.

"The training can provide appropriate and scientific methods for parents to better educate their children and let them grow up more healthily", Peng said.

Peng added, though, that the parent educator is a new occupation in the market, so more specialized expertise should be trained and engaged in the new industry in the future.

Shanghai Huiming International College provides the vocational skills training for parent educators. Ding Yifan, the vice-principal of the college, said they teach how to be good parents and they give specialized and standardized training about family education.

Xiong Bingqi, the deputy director of 21st Century Education Research Institute, said this kind of vocational training reflects current market demand.

Xiong said certification could normalize the chaotic market of parent educators.

However, some experts and industry insiders expressed concerns about diversified related training institutions.

Wang Ling, an expert from the Committee of Family Education at the Chinese Society of Education said "the professional parent tutor in China is very rare. Most of the training institutions are not qualified and irregular".

She said people who want to be professional parent tutors must have a background in psychology and education science, adding "simple training and about 10 classes will not guarantee professionalism".

She said some of the teachers and experts in the training institutions lack authority and appealed to administrative authorities to regulate the training market.

Jia Rongtao, a family education counselor and chairman of Rongtao education group, said the parent educator is an emerging industry and it shows parental awareness of family education has been increased in recent years.

"Of course, the new industry creates an income avenue for some training institutions. There might be non-standard institutions among them," he said.

He added some certification authorities don't have qualifications to issue the certificate.