The days leading up to the national college entrance examination in China are the toughest time for high-school students. Students in the "most hardworking class ever" in Xiaogan, Hubei province, take aminophenol in class to "be more energetic": the classroom looks more like a hospital. Such strange behavior indicates our education system needs changing, says an article in People's Daily. Excerpts:
A great deal of strange behavior occurs when hard-working students try to relieve the mounting pressure of preparing for the national college entrance examination. But a classroom full of "sick" students is shocking.
It seems that students are doing "too much" in their efforts to do well in the exams and fulfill their parents' high expectations.
However, we are doing "too little" for their future physical and psychological health and to cultivate integrity, an innovative spirit, and practical ability. Our education seems to involve only taking tests.
In some kindergartens in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, children take an absurd fingerprint test to determine their IQ.
It is ridiculous to think that the fingerprints of little children can reveal their IQ and their potential to achieve highmarks in future exams. The huge pressure arising from our exam-oriented education system has even influenced pre-school education, as parents are afraid that their children will fall behind in the race to get ahead.
Education should not be just tests and competitions.
We blame the examination system in ancient China for killing people's creativeness, but now, it seems that we are repeating the same mistake. Cultivating the next generation to be fully rounded citizens should be the goal of our education system.
(China Daily 05/10/2012 page9)