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China: Challenging Myths

How China is changing the view on education

Recently, China has seen numerous reforms in the field of education which has attracted a lot of global attention. Their main aim is to reduce the burden of homework and after-school lessons for students and to improve the services of mandatory education.

Why make the changes?

The dense population has created fierce competition in education for students of all ages, starting as early as the first years of kindergarten. The parents’ thinking behind this idea of competition is driven by the need to keep up with other families whose children are in intense study mode not only in school, but outside of school with extra classes and training schools during weekends.

The new policy also recognises that the current pressures of obtaining high quality education negatively affects the students. In the present society a lot of emphasis is placed on achieving grades and less on the formation of a healthy and mature personality, which has seen an increase in psychological problems among children.

What about the private tutoring companies?

The new regulations mean that private education companies offering tutoring of school curriculum can no longer make profit. The private businesses are banned from offering academic classes outside of school, including during weekends, public holidays and school vacations. Under the new guidelines, any institutions offering tutoring should be registered as non-profit organisations.

The focus is shifting

Another important development in the educational sector is the development of vocational undergraduate specialities to train more highly qualified technical and skilled workers and craftsmen. The system will take the direction of building vocational schools to make it more adaptable to the modern world. In addition, this will provide more opportunities for the population in rural areas and ethnic minority areas. In particular, vocational and technical training can help unemployed school graduates to acquire skills and obtain employment.

As the world is watching the unfolding changes in the education sector, China is making bold decisions to broaden the horizons, think ahead and fix the current system’s major issues that have trickled down to every family. Their long-term plan is to make the field of education more coordinated and holistic and focus on building a new system to enhance innovation and meet the requirements of rapid country development.

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