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Kids the ones who suffer from parents' focus on their future

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-06-28 07:36

MANY MIDDLE-CLASS PARENTS in China seem in a state of permanent anxiety about their children's future, fearing that if they don't develop any artistic talent or lag behind in education they will be a loser for the rest of their lives. China Youth Daily comments:

Such a mentality is understandable, as the huge demand means quality education resources are scare. As a result the best schools set enrollment tests so they can select the best students, that requires the kids to have the knowledge that they are supposed to learn in higher grades.

And children only qualify to sit these tests if the parents own a house in the schools' catchment areas, which may mean buying a new property for that purpose. That could cost millions of yuan in big cities, thus fending off children from poorer families.

Many expensive after-school training agencies have also sprung up warning parents not to let children lose the race on the starting line.

Thus the children have no real choice, and they are compelled to receive education and training that is in advance of their ages and irrespective of their personal interests. This stressful trend has permeated the whole of society to such an extent that the children who do not go for extracurricular training are left behind in their class.

But a question the parents should be asking is how many children lose their interests in math and science, just because they are forced to receive training for the International Mathematical Olympiad in extracurricular classes at an early age.

Few parents heed the warnings of education experts that the overload in learning may quench children's thirst for knowledge. And in spite of the education authorities' ban on after-school training in public schools, the training has simply taken on other forms and has never abated.

To relieve parents of their anxiety, local governments need to distribute the quality education resources more fairly and increase the supply of education resources across the country, reform the national college entrance exam system, which fosters the rote learning and exam-oriented education, and diversify the talent assessment mechanism and dredge the upward mobility channels in the society so that exam scores are not viewed as the be-all and end-all for a child's future.

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