School’s in for summer
These are some of the tasks assigned by a Beijing school to an 8-year-old child for his two-month summer vacation. The school is neither exceptionally expensive nor cheap, and is reasonably representative of schools in Beijing. Students who do not complete all exercises are not punished, but their inability to complete the tasks is noted and not-so-subtly hinted at during parent-teacher interviews. Due to the nature of most of these tasks, parental participation is all but compulsory.
each student has to
Design a poster for a school anniversary Be a “filial star,” which involves “honoring” elderly family members and helping out neighbors (photo evidence required) Participate in “community activities” “Show love” for the Communist Party and China (specifics not provided, but photos are required) Go to a local community center event (photos required) Participate in “happy reading activities”: Parents must recommend books on a set topic for students to read. A Powerpoint presentation is required Watch a documentary Attend a concert Visit a museum See an art exhibition Study the ocean and the country’s navy, then log onto a website to complete a contest Study traditional Chinese culture Study food safety and culture; draw a picture which represents these issues. The picture will be judged as part of a competition Learn three patriotic songs, which will be sung after returning to school Attend an app-based “digital summer camp” Complete daily physical exercise including: sit-ups, jumping jacks, toe-touch, and jump rope
This is in addition to regular Chinese, math, and English homework: Students are assigned a handbook to complete in each subject.