Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Deepen reform for graduate business startups

By Chu Zhaohui (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-20 08:12

Perhaps a discovery made by US educator John Dewey 100 years ago can help us. Dewey said every child is born with the potential for high talent, which can be developed through socializing, research and innovation. But China's exam-oriented education system is stifling this potential. The system uses a single standard to evaluate all students whose potentials are diverse and different from kindergarten to university.

As a result, students have long lost sight of their unique talents and find it hard to distinguish themselves in the job market. On the other hand, employers, especially those that need diverse skills, find it hard to get the people they most need.

A diverse evaluation system, based on the individual characteristics of children, should be put in place to tackle the employment problem at the root. Also, children should get enough free time to attend to hobbies and subjects of interest. And once young students get used to initiating and realizing their own projects, starting their own business will come naturally to many.

Of course, employment and the entrepreneurial drive are affected by economic and industrial development.

This round of educational reform alone will not be enough to ease employment pressure in China, especially because entrepreneurship is not the panacea for the ills of students, many of whom don't even know what to do with their lives.

The author is researcher with the National Institute of Education Sciences.

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