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System too demanding

China Daily | Updated: 2013-01-30 07:25

A grade-seven student in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, committed suicide by jumping from his 11th floor apartment recently after his score fell from 600 in the previous exam to 290 in the final. The tragedy highlights the dangers associated with students' desperation to succeed in exams at all costs, says an article in Beijing Evening News. Excerpts:

The age old story of a man who tries to help shoots grow by pulling them upward applies to many of today's people, particularly youngsters. The boy who committed suicide used to be an exemplary member of his class and had an excellent academic record. But perhaps he could not cope with the pressure exerted by his parents and teachers to excel in his studies.

Maybe, the boy's teachers and parents are to blame for his death. But when the pressure created by the overall education environment is more than what an adult can bear, how can a child or an adolescent overcome it? Teachers, too, suffer the consequences of the demanding education system and try to pass them off to students' parents.

Parents, in turn, magnify the pressure and shift them on to their children. In the end, it's the students who have to bear the pressure as well as excel in their efforts.

Parents of most primary and secondary school students have suffered anxiety, albeit to different degrees, while waiting for the results of exams. Students who don't perform "well" are forced to take supplementary classes during vacations or over the weekends to do the catching up.

When an education system forces children to achieve something beyond their reach, it is highly likely that they will fail. And for those who succeed, the memories of childhood will be nothing but a constant battle against odds.

(China Daily 01/30/2013 page9)

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