After the destruction and bloodbath of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward, Deng Xiaoping, now in control of the CPC (Communist Party of China), began a process of economic liberalization. 40 years later, over 800 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, and the country stands of the brink of overtaking its main rival, the USA. Though its moment of the world-stage is certainly not set to fade away soon, it faces many issues: an aging population, a lack of water, and an insecure populace. One overlooked aspect, and one essential to the future of China, is education.
Since the times of the now baroque dynasties of ancient China, education and merit have been cornerstones to Chinese culture and philosophy. Modern China is scarcely different. Severe competition, according to the New York Times, “begins at elementary school where children under 10-years-old struggle to get the best grades.” This reflects a key issue within the Chinese school system: the Gaokao test. The sole criterion for admission into China’s universities, children as young as ten are routinely subjected to hours of prep, often in so-called ‘Gaokao factories’. According to government numbers, nearly a quarter of a million people commit suicide in China each year, and state media has claimed suicide is the leading cause of people aged 15-34. While the gaokao certainly has its merits in admitting the finest of students to China’s elite universities, many voice their concerns over the gaokao being the sole criterion, and the effects such a system may have on future generations, such as producing a generation of socially maligned children.
China’s rapid urbanization in the last four decades has also caused accessibility issues in its system. As rural villages are depopulated, few remain, and schools dwindle in size, often to a single pupil taught by a single teacher, as seen in [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvoNlxjLlQk]this[/url] video. Poor children are forced to hike through miles of treacherous terrain simply to reach their school. However, with ever-increasing investments in infrastructure under the CPC and increasing urbanization leading to rural citizens moving to cities (where education access is far easier), we can expect issues in accessibility to steadily decline.
China’s education system, while not perfect, has made impressive gains for its populace and citizenry. Nonetheless, several issues remain, including systemic issues in regards to its admissions process. As China continues to develop and establish its position on the world stage, it will remain to be seen if its education system truly can serve its people.
Givology Staff's Blog
Must be logged in to comment.