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  • Super Exam Factory’s Prospect: China says “No”, but USA says “Yes”?

    Post by : expatree

      2011 graduate showed all exam papers written in the high school, it’s 2.41 meters tall. Image from
Recently, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released an official report highlighting the importance of worldwide educational performance. Compared with other countries, the features of examination-oriented education system in China is quite impressive. In all ages, local children have to accept participating in various intensive tutorial classes. The reason behind the excess classes are parents and teachers who expect these children to obtain as many skills as they can in order to be better equipped for the competitive future. Therefore, it is not surprising to come across a student who is literally dragging a suitcase already to a primary school.
Proud of the splendid success of hundreds of students being accepted via the entrance exam by Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Hong Kong University, these well-known institutions, almost all high schools, have adopted a few common strategies to continue achieving this result or better. These institutions are referred to as the “Super Exam Factories” and imply that student have thousands of assignment and homework, mandatory early morning and evening classes, also extra private tutorial lessons on weekends or holidays. In an extreme case, one local school even follows up with a military-style management, including same uniform, 5am to 10pm study hours, restricted boys and girls relationship, limited leisure activities etc. everything has a criteria scale to guarantee a good study achievement.
While local experts start to reflect on these issues, there is a new voice gaining popularity concerning the advantages of the Chinese education system. In fact “Charter schools” have become more popular in America since the 90’s. Charter schools include heavy homework and extra tutorial classes which is the opposite of what Chinese students are being exposed to. For example, the Charter schools organized by KIPP union, requests student to go to school on Saturdays while simultaneously taking 3-weeks extra tutorial lessons during their holidays. Due to the significant contribution of the Chinese education system to academic performance, the Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation. Results shows that nearly 62.5% American readers prefer Chinese-like intensive education rather than the western “encouraging” education. Not only are the Americans feeling the pressure of globalization when it comes to competing for talented resources, but the Japanese have an alarming concern for it as well. Therefore, the Japanese government tried to reform their educational strategy, and claimed that the “no-pressure” education would be ended. New measures include adding more assignments, and re-introducing “6 school days a week” in order to raise the quality of education. There is another issue often questioned by locals, they treat Chinese intensive education as a killer of creativity. However, the professor from Temple University, Robert W. Weisberg’s report shows this opinion is very different from the research result. It explains: creative geniuses’ successes were seen as payback for all the hard work and dedication, to others it might be a burst of inspiration or a sudden significant breakthrough, unfortunately it’s not true story.  
Much to anyone’s surprise, the results prove that Chinese intensive education remains an advantage, and this is why other countries are paying closer attention in order to benefit from the impressive academic records achieved by the Chinese Schooling system. On the other hand, we are still aware of the negative side effects such distorted value orientations which only worsen an individuals’ personality and self-dependence. Academic systems worldwide all have their advantages. What is important is trading off between the characteristics and environment you wish to have your child learn in. As expat parents, which option would you choose? Please leave your comments and opinions, we are very interested to see what we come up with!

Date:2013-11-28 01:29:26
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