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Fund our intellectual development
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-30 07:41

Fund our intellectual development

Comment on "Lessons on education" (Nov 19, China Daily)

After reading your editorial titled "Lessons on education," I've come to the conclusion that the commercialization of education is a worldwide epidemic that needs to be cured.

As an American college student, I have personally experienced the difficulty of receiving a quality education in a system that glorifies wealthy and flashy institutions over quality curriculum.

At some American universities, students are treated as customers. Schools are packaged to resemble tacky vacation resorts, complete with Olympic-sized swimming pools, franchise restaurants and championship sports teams. On a recent tour to Rutgers University, I learned more about the college's hot spots than I did about their classes. How are our universities supposed to make us better contributors to the global community if all our monetary resources are used to fund the expansion of campuses instead of our intellectual development?

If Barack Obama's jaunt across Asia proved anything, it's that both China and the United States have a responsibility to each other and to the world.

Institutions of higher learning in both countries should give first priority to cultivating the intellectual ability of their students who should become well-educated and highly skilled workforces that will contribute to the wellbeing of mankind. After all, if there is anything that is going to save us from this crisis, it's not the state-of-the-art campuses, but the minds inside the classrooms, labs, and lecture halls, whether they are Chinese or American.

Brittany Tenpenny, US

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Soldier of understanding

Comment on "Soldiers of truth" (Nov 24, China Daily)

I recently read an article in your paper entitled "Soldiers of Truth" by Chen Weihua regarding US diplomat John Service and his career in China. It seems to me that the Chinese have a great deal of respect for men like Service who took the time to understand their culture and language, while sadly, Cold-War America did not show the same feelings.

It's a shame that the US government saw John Service as a danger and a liability to its anti-Communist campaign rather than the valuable, talented diplomat he was. This is a classic example of the many errors made by overzealous American politicians during the Cold War - the mistaken mentality that severing ties and creating animosity is an effective way to deal with international issues.

I agree with the article when it suggests that if the US had kept ties with China during the Cold War, the costly wars in Korea Peninsula and Vietnam could have been avoided. Perhaps the entire Cold War could have been ended years before the fall of the Soviet Union and the world would have been a more unified, cooperative place today if America and China had been friends instead of foes.

Many mistakes were made during this time, but I look optimistically at the future and hope that the current talks between presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao will benefit China and the US. Hopefully we can learn from the past to ensure a better future for both countries.

Mike Ahrens, US

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