Ease up on tu­tor­ing, min­istry tells par­ents

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING zhaoxiny­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Schools should re­duce the work­load of pri­mary and mid­dle school stu­dents dur­ing the sum­mer va­ca­tion, and par­ents should not sign up chil­dren for too many tu­to­rial classes, the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion said on Wed­nes­day.

“Stu­dents should be guided to spend their va­ca­tion in a rea­son­able and mean­ing­ful way, such as par­tic­i­pat­ing in so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, get­ting close to na­ture, and con­duct­ing ob­ser­va­tion and in­quiry­based learn­ing, rather than be thrown into all kinds of tu­to­rial cour­ses,” the min­istry said in a no­tice.

“Pri­mary and mid­dle schools are for­bid­den from or­ga­niz­ing stu­dents for lessons dur­ing the sum­mer va­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly lessons that charge fees. Schools that are found vi­o­lat­ing such rules will be pun­ished by lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties,” it added.

The min­istry also en­cour­aged stu­dents to read more books and ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent as­pects of life by vol­un­teer­ing

Many par­ents treat the onemonth win­ter va­ca­tion and two-month sum­mer va­ca­tion as good op­por­tu­ni­ties for chil­dren to catch up to peers or progress in their stud­ies, which drives them to fill their chil­dren’s days with a wide range of cour­ses.

Some cour­ses are even or­ga­nized by the pri­mary or mid­dle schools chil­dren at­tend.

To per­suade par­ents and schools to end the “bad tra­di­tion”, the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry has stressed re­duc­ing stu­dents’ work­loads for years.

It is­sued a no­tice in Au­gust 2013 re­quir­ing that schools and teach­ers not give lessons and ask for pay on week­ends, or dur­ing win­ter or sum­mer va­ca­tion and other na­tional hol­i­days.

How­ever, many par­ents in­sist on sign­ing up chil­dren for cour­ses out­side of school for fear that their chil­dren will fall be­hind oth­ers.

Wang Haifeng, a Bei­jing res­i­dent whose son is in fifth grade at a pri­mary school in Xicheng district, said some of her friends who are also par­ents of pri­mary school stu­dents have ar­ranged a busy va­ca­tion for chil­dren, while she chose to stay calm.

“I don’t want to force my son to do things he doesn’t want just be­cause I’m anx­ious about his fu­ture,” she said.

“Chil­dren in China would be very busy with their stud­ies af­ter en­ter­ing ju­nior mid­dle school and high school. Be­fore that, I hope my son can have some happy child­hood mem­o­ries, so I let him de­cide what he wants to do dur­ing the va­ca­tion so that he could spend the va­ca­tion in a way he is pleased and sat­is­fied with.”

Based on her son’s wishes, Wang fi­nally signed him up for two cour­ses — bas­ket­ball and the game of Go.

CUI XIAO/ FOR CHINA DAILY

Del­e­gates from Kagoshima pre­fec­ture, Ja­pan — in front of por­traits of “com­fort women” who were en­slaved for sex by the Ja­panese army dur­ing World War II — read out a vow for peace dur­ing a visit to an ex­hi­bi­tion hall on Thurs­day at the orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion of the Li­jix­i­ang “com­fort sta­tion” in Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince.

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