Poor research adds to woes
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.