Fifth-graders use tablet computers in a math class in Tonglu, Zhejiang Province. [For China Daily/Xu Junyong]
Operators of educational apps are required to register their apps with the government by the end of this year, the Ministry of Education said Thursday.
Eight government departments, including the ministry, have jointly issued a directive to regulate the use of educational apps in schools, the ministry said in a press release.
The overuse of apps in some schools as well as harmful information and rampant advertisements on some apps have bothered teachers and added unnecessary burdens to students and their families, said Lei Chaozi, a senior ministry official.
According to the document, the government will develop a database of educational apps and step up supervision over their content and operation.
Operators of these apps should establish internal management over personal information they collect from users, inform users of why they need to collect such information and how they will use it, and obtain users' consent before collecting the information, the directive said.
They should also obtain a guardian's consent before collecting personal information from minors, it added.
The education authority and schools will be tasked with selecting educational apps used in schools but they should consider opinions from faculty, students and their parents.
An educational app selected as a regular teaching tool should not charge students and their families fees nor contain commercial advertisements or games, according to the directive.
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