Poor re­search adds to woes

China Daily (USA) - - COMMENT -

North­east China, the one-time in­dus­trial base that had been strug­gling with low eco­nomic growth over the past years, is show­ing ini­tial signs of an eco­nomic turn­around thanks to the on­go­ing eco­nomic struc­tural ad­just­ments. But to cor­rect its eco­nomic and in­dus­trial struc­tural im­bal­ances, the re­gion has to im­ple­ment sweep­ing re­forms and build an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment model that is driven by tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions.

An in­no­va­tion-driven econ­omy is es­sen­tially a tal­ent-driven econ­omy. But the lack of en­thu­si­asm among re­searchers in North­east China due to sys­temic or in­sti­tu­tional con­straints, such as the lack of a sci­en­tific re­search ap­praisal sys­tem, prob­lem­atic man­age­ment of re­search funds and rel­a­tively low salaries of re­searchers, is pre­vent­ing its in­no­va­tion po­ten­tial from be­ing re­al­ized.

For long, the ed­u­ca­tors in North­east China have put em­pha­sis on the “quan­tity” rather than the qual­ity of re­search works and the author­i­ties have not made enough ef­forts to con­vert the aca­demic seeds into eco­nomic fruits. Re­searchers, es­pe­cially young ones and those as­so­ci­ated with “less pres­ti­gious” in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing, have been strug­gling to cope with the short­age of re­search funds, which, along with the rigid re­search ex­pense re­im­burse­ment pro­ce­dure, has damp­ened their zeal to ap­ply for re­search work.

To change this faulty aca­demic eval­u­a­tion sys­tem and boost the morale of re­searchers and po­ten­tial re­searchers and, en­cour­age in­no­va­tions, North­east China should first im­prove its aca­demic as­sess­ment sys­tem, so that re­search works can be sci­en­tif­i­cally eval­u­ated. The re­gion should also try to re­form its ex­ist­ing re­search fund man­age­ment sys­tem and stream­line its re­search ex­pense re­im­burse­ment pro­ce­dure to in­ject new vi­tal­ity into the aca­demic do­main.

More­over, the author­i­ties in North­east China should also take im­me­di­ate mea­sures to ac­cord due im­por­tance to re­searchers, and raise their salaries and al­lowances so that they can lead a de­cent and dig­ni­fied life, which would make them more ded­i­cated to their work. Pub­lished by: Tel: Fax: Sub­scrip­tion: Ad­ver­tis­ing: Printed by: — GMW.CN

EAST CHINA’S ZHE­JIANG PROV­INCE has made tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine a com­pul­sory sub­ject for grade 5 stu­dents. On Mon­day, lo­cal me­dia out­lets said TCM text­books are be­ing printed and will soon be sent to pri­mary schools. Jf­daily com­ments:

Zhe­jiang is the first prov­ince to make TCM a com­pul­sory sub­ject in schools. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the prov­ince even plans to in­tro­duce the course in mid­dle schools, and many mid­dle school teach­ers are un­der­go­ing train­ing at Zhe­jiang Chi­nese Med­i­cal Univer­sity to learn how to teach TCM to young chil­dren.

The move has aroused mixed feel­ings among ne­ti­zens. Some say TCM is em­pir­i­cal in na­ture, that is, based on prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, not sci­en­tific proof. Oth­ers fear that some stu­dents might try some un­proven herbs to cure an ail­ment. Such doubts are un­nec­es­sary be­cause the TCM course in the pri­mary schools will be mainly about how to pre­vent diseases and stay healthy.

Be­sides, na­tional poli­cies sup­port the pop­u­lar­iza­tion of TCM knowl­edge in pri­mary and sec­ondary schools. Last year, the State Coun­cil, China’s Cab­i­net, is­sued a five-year plan for the strate­gic de­vel­op­ment of TCM, which em­pha­sized that knowl­edge about TCM should be spread to cam­puses.

Of course, teach­ing TCM in pri­mary schools is a ma­jor chal­lenge. Part of the TCM knowl­edge is linked with su­per­sti­tions be­cause our an­ces­tors had lim­ited knowl­edge of the world and our bod­ies. Th­ese parts should be dropped from the pri­mary school course.

This would re­quire lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion author­i­ties to train the teach­ers to teach TCM in the spirit of mod­ern sci­ence. TCM is part of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture and we should not be shy of our past, but its teach­ing method should be sci­en­tific.

Such weird names are not un­usual th­ese days. A man in North­west China’s Shaanxi prov­ince named his son Wangzhe Rongyao, or King of Glory, a pop­u­lar on­line game. And a high school grad­u­ate in East China’s Jiangsu prov­ince is named Shi Zhen, or This is the Em­peror.

Al­though easy to re­mem­ber, such names do not re­flect the wishes of those who carry them. The nam­ing of chil­dren has been evolv­ing since an­cient times and names sig­nify the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the times. Still, some rules or con­ven­tions should not be ne­glected. For in­stance, the pub­lic se­cu­rity and civil af­fairs author­i­ties have put up a list of rarely used Chi­nese char­ac­ters that par­ents should try to avoid while choos­ing a name for their new­borns. They should also avoid us­ing words from other lan­guages.

As such, the pub­lic se­cu­rity de­part­ments have enough rea­son to ask par­ents who do not fol­low the rules to re­name their chil­dren be­fore is­su­ing house­hold reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cates or iden­tity cards.

But that has not pre­vented some par­ents from giv­ing their chil­dren “fash­ion­able” names, which do not break the rules. Such par­ents should re­al­ize that if their chil­dren have weird names, they could be­come the butt of jokes and even be bul­lied by their peers.

Al­though par­ents have the free­dom to choose any name for their chil­dren, they should not use it to im­pose their wishes on their chil­dren by giv­ing them out­landish names.

Ad­ver­tis­ing@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com Iliffe Print Cam­bridge Ltd Win­ship Road, Mil­ton, Cam­bridge CB24 6PP 15 Huixin Dongjie, Chaoyang, Bei­jing 100029 +86 (0) 10 6491-8366; editor@chi­nadaily.com.cn 1500 Broad­way, Suite 2800, New York, NY 10036 +1 212 537 8888

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