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Brilliance must be respected, but not at the cost of kids

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-14 07:36

ZHANG YIWEN, a 10-year-old girl from Central China's Henan province, who took the college entrance examination, or gaokao, this year, has been admitted as a formal student to Shangqiu Institute of Technology. Thepaper.cn comments:

Zhang is one of the perhaps hundreds of "minor" students to be admitted to a college this year. Of the about 3,000 freshmen enrolled by Peking University, 340 were born after 2000, with the youngest being just 14 years old.

But Zhang is different from them, too, because she never attended compulsory education school. Instead, she studied in a training school run by her father, who thinks quite highly of her. According to reports, he hopes his daughter would continue studying after graduation and get a PhD before her 20th birthday.

It is good to let extraordinarily intelligent children receive higher education earlier than others, but the possible negative effects should also be considered. A 10-year-old girl might find it hard to mix with or adjust to her 17-and 18-year-old classmates in college, or vice-versa, which could curb her healthy growth.

Besides, Zhang is reported to have skipped her compulsory education with the support of her father, which is illegal. Compulsory education means every child must receive it unconditionally. Zhang's father had already broken the law when he allowed the girl to study in his training school instead of sending her to a proper school.

Media reports suggest Zhang had taken gaokao even last year, which was hyped up by her father as an advertisement for his training school. If that's true, her father has used a minor for making profits, which is illegal, too. We hope Zhang's right to compulsory education will be protected and her father is held accountable for his deeds, if they are illegal.

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