Wherever you live in the world, we all know the value of education. Just like health, it is the only gift that will last you a lifetime. After all, you are never too old to learn and you need to learn as much in order for you to do well in life and in your chosen career. Getting an education is no longer just an assurance that you can land a great job after college since many also hold a degree now but what counts most is how efficient you are in doing your body and how good you are in doing a lot of things, which is often not solely learned inside the classroom but a mix of in-class and real-world learning and experience. And no other is so hardworking when it comes to studying than the Chinese. China is known for their high regards for education and learning as a whole.
Young students in their country take studying really seriously as their parents have taught them the value of education and how vital it is to their future success. As if studying in school for the entire day is not enough preparation for them, many of these kids also have additional classes after school, usually online English classes, and even during the weekends along with a training for a sport or a hobby or two leaving them little time to rest and relax. They don’t even get to sleep more than 9 hours each day considering their heavy school load that it has now raised warning bells and caught the attention of the authorities. They even beat office workers as to how early they leave for school and how heavy their bags are full of books.
Chinese students are known for their excellent mathematics performance, and also for their huge homework workloads.
“The earliest birds waiting for the buses every day are not office workers, but middle school students. Even as a bystander, I feel they’re suffering too much,” said a bus driver in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China’s Gansu Province.
For decades, efforts have been made by authorities at various levels to cut the workload for adolescents, but their bags continue to swell and they sleep less and less.
A study by China Youth and Children Research Center showed in the decade from 2005 to 2015 that 60 percent of primary and middle school students slept less than 9 hours a day, the minimal amount of sleep required according to the Ministry of Education.
Not only is their school hours taxing enough but the amount of homework they bring home is bordering beyond disbelief too. Year after year, homework load increases without taking into consideration the student’s health and well-being. Extra-curricular classes pose just as much stress as well. Chinese students are becoming great English communicators, thanks to their dedication to learning the language. The bulk of their classes at home are often English classes, as already mentioned, aimed at honing them to become competitive global workforce that can compete with just about every other citizen in most English-speaking countries.
“It’s simple [to achieve that]. We just need to improve efficiency in class and increase interaction between teachers and students so that students can absorb knowledge better,” said Yu Ying, the incumbent principal.
“We should teach our educators to instruct in a scientific manner and get rid of monotonous, inefficient teaching methods. This is the only way to reduce workloads,” said Zhou Hongyu, professor at the Central China Normal University.
Students learn from other things too, not just from the school lessons. While they are pushed to go beyond their limits and absorb as much information as they can get, they may miss out in learning practical knowledge from real-life experiences they seldom get to experience as they are too immersed in their school work and homework. Maybe some changes in the country’s educational system can bring about this much-needed change for the benefit of the future generation. Balance is what everyone needs to achieve. For the students to learn as much as they can without getting overwhelmed with all the school work is something educators can address once they start acknowledging that the problem is real after all.