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Failed international HS

herenow (144 posts) • 0

@JanJal, regarding your earlier reply to my post: It sounds like you're talking about curriculum (notably as regards job market preparation), whereas I was talking about resources (money) in the paragraph you quoted. Apples and oranges.

And I don't disagree with anything you said about curriculum.

JanJal (742 posts) • 0

@herenow: "It sounds like you're talking about curriculum (notably as regards job market preparation), whereas I was talking about resources (money)"

I was not necessarily talking just about curriculum.

For example in rural Yunnan you really cannot expect every school to have a native English speaker as teacher, but then again most families do not expect their children to continue to higher education either.

For example in the elementary school in my wife's home village, English teaching was done by a local chap with nothing but high school degree.

I assume the trend extended to other subjects.

(this was the situation until 2-3 years ago, when the school was closed for safety reasons, and the kids are now sent to closest town and boarded there for school weeks)

My point is that whether the alleged shortcomings are in curriculum or funding, the expectations of these farmer families aren't very high either.

They, like their peers in many other countries, only want their children to have better life than their parents did, and that's not difficult even if they'd end up as migrant workers in Zhejiang or something.

Of course a few every year end up to YunDa or even Beijing for higher education, but most don't.

If there was sudden influx of money and equipment to upgrade education across China tenfold or whatever, the kids would still graduate to work in factories, construction, food delivery, and KTV hosting.

As I argued, China does not educate their kids to work in western job market, but their own - and this is both about curriculum and the education budget.

cloudtrapezer (481 posts) • 0

Sure. Farmers and factory workers don't need education do they? Sometimes I have to double take when I read the opinions on here.

JanJal (742 posts) • +2

@cloudtrapezer: "Farmers and factory workers don't need education do they"

Sure do, but not the same quantity (or quality in the irrelevant subjects) as some other professions.

You can of course argue about how to identify future farmers from future doctors and scientists, and that if you can't, you should offer the same high level education to everyone just in case.

That's fine, but where is the money and the teachers? Or is it about curriculum?

This does not happen even in most developed countries. Cradle to grave social welfare in my home country for example aims to give everyone the same chances, but it's too much for some and too little for others. It caters to the masses of average, with some level of cost-efficiency.

I've followed the discussion in national level here, and there seems to be some concensus that China needs to promote technical and vocational education, and not have every family want their children to become doctors and scientists.

In China's context there are other considerations as well. The country is still ruled by revolutionary ideals, and over-educating the masses can be seen as a road to counter-revolution.

herenow (144 posts) • 0

@JanJal: You wrote "If there was sudden influx of money and equipment to upgrade education across China tenfold or whatever, the kids would still graduate to work in factories, construction, food delivery, and KTV hosting."

1. There are serious problems in the school system apart from educational outcomes. For example, many students at rural boarding schools suffer from preventable health problems such as stunted growth, anemia, and intestinal worms, per this article in The Economist: www.economist.com/[...] More funding (combined with political will) would undoubtedly improve health conditions.

2. I think you are over-simplifying the labor market. In between the doctors & scientists and the construction workers & KTV hosts (and also above technical/vocational certificates for building trades and such), there is a whole layer of mid-skilled jobs that require something like a two-year college degree: dental assistants, electrical engineering technicians, paralegals and so forth. These are realistic outlets for many bright rural kids if they can access financial aid for their studies, but most won't get there under the policy you seem to be arguing for.

JanJal (742 posts) • 0

@herenow: "serious problems in the school system apart from educational outcomes [...] preventable health problems such as stunted growth"

True, but I would not count that as as a problem in the school system, as much as problem in the public health care that should extend to school age children, as well as their family members.

I could present an anecdote (not amusing) from a neighbour family in my wife's home village. Several years ago the mother went to earn money as migrant worker in Zhejiang (returning only for CNYs), leaving husband to care for farm and two children (one in elementary school and the other in high school - both now boarding).

Minding the farm on his own, the father got some treatable sickness, but (not having wife to kick him) refused to waste money on medication (probably food as well) and it got worse.

Eventually the family decided to

have the father go to Zhejiang as well, where he could earn a little money for the family while having the wife make sure he takes care of himself.

Meanwhile the two children stayed behind in Yunnan. Boarded for school, and relatives caring rest of time.

Yes, health care of rural children should be better, but so should health care in general.

@herenow: "you are over-simplifying the labor market. In between the doctors & scientists and the construction workers & KTV hosts [...] two-year college degree: dental assistants, electrical engineering technicians, paralegals"

Yes, but I include these to vocational education.

@herenow: "bright rural kids if they can access financial aid for their studies, but most won't get there under the policy you seem to be arguing for"

I believe China already has schemes to support these bright kids. It really depends on their teachers though, and not so much of their abiltiies to teach their own subjects, as their knowledge of the support channels and interest to really help children.

This calls for more counceling and career information, rather than better or more subject teachers.

For example my wife was never a

bookworm and slept through English classes, but her teachers picked up her talents and she eventually graduated from YunDa with art degree.

Many of her fellow graduates are in extracurricular art education now. They make living covering the holes in public school system.

I would of course welcome increase in public education funding, but I'd rather have it prioritized on those who would benefit most from it, rather than distribute evenly across the board.

China should really learn from more developed countries with that, to avoid their mistakes in my opinion.

In China education is still valued greatly, for many reasons - some of which may not be healthy but still. That's where the tigermumism and these crooked school setups also spring from. They are the other side of the coin.

Inflating that value of education could spell another disaster in a country this big and complicated.

tigertiger (4869 posts) • 0

There are also opposite examples (also happens in the west) of parents keeping the kids out of school, or pulling them out at the earliest legal age, so that they can work in the family business or on the farm.

Much of Yunnan is still an agrarian economy/culture, there are also some minority parents/grandparents who do not want the children losing touch with their minority's culture. They want the children to stay in the village and stay on the land.
There are also those parents/grandparents who had no real education themselves and do not see a need for it, which we may view as ignorant.

Napoleon (1175 posts) • 0

Whatever people think and however people view back home with their rose tinted glasses or believe about Confusian vs Socratic learning styles, the Chinese system is in good shape and rates higher than western systems in a lot of aspects. If you're coming there thinking you're helping a system failing in giving a large amount of people an education you couldn't be further from the truth as results show nothing but improvement in education sectors. Where problems have arrived is when these "western schools" with Australian/American curriculum are pushed to people as the highest standard they could achieve and marketed to people as the missing link of their education. Instead, what they are getting is far less than the state education offers - a private company hastily set up to maximize profits, staffed by people grabbing high wages, from gullible parents on a flimsy curriculum that's not worth the paper it's written on

The only real work is done in university or high school placement where the company relies on the greed of the foreign institution to snap up Chinese students wholesale and put them, not into degree education but perhaps an extended language course or a cultural course, at high expense. Of course learn foreign curriculum to gain a place at a foreign university is what's told, but the reality is somewhat different. The troubles of what happens above is not down to the Chinese education system, it's down to the Chinese acceptance of foreign curriculum as being above and beyond, when in fact what is offered is not worthy of the name. Now, the education authority is catching on. In a lot of places, like Jiangsu, there programmes no longer get into schools. While in Yunnan the certificates to run international programs are no longer issued.

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