Thursday, December 07, 2006

Priorities of Students in China

School Day 24: Urban-rural China
Students at three schools - urban, semi-urban and rural - in Guangdong province linked up to discuss how they can bridge the gap between cities and the countryside and reduce the inequality between rich and poor.

Note their answers to the following question:

Question: What do you care about most?

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: We care most about our studies, because we will be facing college/university entrance exams in a year's time [A-level equivalent], which in a way determines our future.

Pupil from Feng Xia Middle School: I agree with him - studying is very important to us, especially those of us who are poor students.

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: Only 20% of my time is spent on preparing for the college entrance exams, 80% of time doing other things. My parents think it's fine, they think I am old enough to decide what's best for myself.

All three mentioned studying and/or preparing for college entrance tests. Obviously these kids are instilled with the idea that a good education is a worthwhile pursuit. I wonder how students in America would answer that question.


Blogger Patrick said...

During our holiday in China we learned that there is a really high pressure on the students to pass their entrance test. Especially for rural families it might be a step out of the poverty, for a better future. What impressed me the most was, that they told us, that the suicide rate after the examperiod explodes skyhigh. It just shows how important it is for those students. So in that way these answers do not surprise me at all....

3:21 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

I really wasn't that surprised myself, Patrick. Education is held in very high regard in Chinese society, more so than it is here in America, I'm afraid. However, there is something wrong when the only apparent alternative to not doing well on the exams is suicide.

8:24 AM  

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