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  • Schoolbag or Trolley Case? An incredible change comes over China

    Post by : expatree


“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be…”

Do you still remember a similar question asked by your primary school teacher?
 
Everyone once had a beautiful childhood dream, however these days that sounds ironic to almost every Chinese student in primary school. If you think it’s a joke that kids carry a “suitcase” while going to school, you are mistaken. In every day life children are saying goodbye to the backpack with school supplies and start taking a suitcase to school. This phenomenon reflects several hot topics and arguments behind this incredible change.
 
Let’s see a brief interview from a primary school student in Shanghai,
 
Journalist: “It looks heavy when you carry your suitcase, how many books are in there?”

Student: “A lot. Besides Chinese, Math, English these basic books, there are other books such as a exercise books for Mathematical Olympiad, Technology, Arts and many others. About 20 books in total I think.”

Journalist: “Wow, that must weigh more than 6 kg, are you ok to carry it by yourself?”

Student: “It’s impossible to use a backpack because it’s too heavy to take a breath. Instead I started to use a trolley case, you see.”
 
It is not difficult to find secret of the “suitcase”, however a new question already planted itself in our mind, “Why are there so many books?” The answer is simple, not only the schoolbag is heavy, school work load is much heavier as well. Nearly 90% of the Chinese primary school students are facing the same scenario – Extreme pressure on studies undertake students in China.
 
A report states that from 7:30 in the morning, a student starts first class after which he rushes to do his homework during a break because his teacher will definitely set new amounts of homework after each class. When the student is home he has to start on his additional exercises until 8 or 9pm, after which he can prepare for his weekend classes. To almost all students weekend is just another beginning of a nightmare, they have to attend different kinds of tutorial classes: Mathematical Olympiad contest, Piano exercise, Cambridge English etc. Students never have a right to say “NO” as the decision is always in the hand of parents and teachers.
 
Quoted from some parents and teachers’ comments

“We wish we could give our child more holiday time, but you know it’s heavy competition in China. It is better to learn more skills and knowledge instead of having nothing to do. We are very afraid of our child losing behind others.”
 
“The first priority is always to achieve good test results. Tutorial classes can help you get a higher score and this is an exclusive way to be on the top of student listing.”
 
In an age of environment, someone stands out with trenchant and perceptive comments. There are 3 majority reasons to form this cause.
1.  Teaching evaluation is based on school entrance examination rate. Students have to take heavy workload for school work in order to pursue one high standard.
2.   Book sellers and publishers strongly push school to purchase variety of reference and experience books through different channels. Without doubt these books becomes endless homework for the children.
3.   Parents are prone to Pea cocking and tent to blindly follow other parents and teachers.
 
This situation has made many Chinese people rethink their points of view; more and more parents start to make their best effort to relief this issue. Finally the voice of the children are being heard, even though it is just a little.

“What we really need is enough space, freedom and a delighted study environment.”
Date:2012-12-13 12:47:58
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