Raise skilled work­ers’ sta­tus to re­duce kids’ study pres­sure

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS -

Should we send our chil­dren to af­ter-school tu­tor­ing in­sti­tu­tions to help raise their scores in ex­ams and sharpen their com­pet­i­tive edge?

I know a num­ber of par­ents who are caught in the dilemma of “to send” or “not to send”. They of­ten find it dif­fi­cult to choose be­tween giv­ing their chil­dren ad­e­quate time for af­ter-school rest and re­cre­ation and helping them stand out from their peers in a largely score-based eval­u­a­tion sys­tem.

In­deed, it’s a dif­fi­cult choice to make. Young par­ents seem to be ob­sessed with their chil­dren’s aca­demic per­for­mance. Some at­tribute it to the Chi­nese tra­di­tion of re­spect for knowl­edge. But par­ents to­day are much more de­voted to their chil­dren’s aca­demic record than ever be­fore. Many par­ents can per­suade their chil­dren— us­ing all sorts of means— to spend al­most all their af­ter-school time, in­clud­ing week­ends, at­tend­ing dif­fer­ent tutorials.

The Peo­ple’s Daily re­cently pub­lished a se­ries of ar­ti­cles on this phe­nom­e­non, ar­gu­ing that it re­flects the anx­i­ety of Chi­nese par­ents, mostly mid­dle-class par­ents, about their chil­dren’s aca­demic per­for­mance, a men­tal­ity ex­ac­er­bated by the crafty pro­mo­tion tricks used by tu­tor­ing schools. For ex­am­ple, one of the ar­ti­cles says, some tu­tor­ing schools adopted a de facto hunger-mar­ket­ing method to goad par­ents into en­rolling their stu­dents.

In­deed, mid­dle-class Chi­nese are ob­sessed with their chil­dren’s aca­demic per­for­mance and not all tu­tor­ing schools are clean or play by the rules. But what has caused all this?

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