CHINA / Daily Life

MBA for tots? Never too young to learn
By Yu Nan (
Updated: 2006-04-10 16:24

Children's EMBA, an early business administration program designed for kids aged three to six, recently appeared in Shanghai with the fees up to 10,000 yuan (USD$2,500), sparking a public debate, the Beijing Star Daily reported.

The training program, called "genius baby," includes 12 courses such as mathematics, English, economics, and natural science, and has enrolled 1500 children so far.

But many of the children cry throughout classes such as economics and mass communications as they are too young to understand them.

Ms. Wang, a clerk in the genius baby training center, said that EMBA has been carefully designed for children in order to foster their communication and creative abilities.

But Shanghai mother Vinny posted an advertisement on a well-known forum in order to sell the course vouchers she had already purchased. She told the reporter in an MSN interview that the courses made her child too tense and tired.

Tian Tian, a five-year old kindergartener, attended the EMBA everyday, but "we had to cut into our meal time in order to be on time for the class," Tian Tian's parents said. "So we decided to give it up."

Du Yasong, a child psychology scholar from a child psychology research center in Shanghai, said it is not proper for parents to enroll children in extracurricular study programs such as EMBA without thoroughly researching it first.

"It is better to study as naturally as possible," he said. "Parents should focus on fostering children's practical abilities rather than force them to take courses that are not suited for children."

Shanghai University sociologist Deng Zhiwei said "the harder you push, the slower they go." He said parents shouldn't put so much pressure or expectations on children.
"It is also totally unnecessary to spend such a lot of money on a course like this," he added.