Raise skilled workers’ status to reduce kids’ study pressure
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?