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Society & Culture

Too Soon to Give China’s Examination System an F

Feb 18, 2011

Nobody seems to like China's test-orientated school system. The emphasis on the examinations, it's argued, distorts students' priorities and ruins their experiences of childhood.

Instead, parents and educators are looking for change, for a system that balances students' needs and allows real evaluation of students.

The brave new world is called quality-oriented education, a mode that caters to students' "balanced growth" and creativity by reforming the curriculum, teaching practices and mechanisms of selection.

Over 14 years since quality-oriented education officially became a central element of China's education reform, as proclaimed by the Ministry of Education, when it will be introduced is still a mystery. Many people are convinced that the schools are still places for pedagogues to swamp students with useless exam tactics.

Many parents loathe test-oriented education not just because of its unproductive nature, but because it makes their children unhappy and they cannot see its point.

The quality-oriented education thus stems from the feeling of unease. So far it's orientated around dislike of the current system rather than rigorous analysis, such as comparisons of future academic performance, psychological health, social skills, and the job prospects of graduates.

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Wang Di is a reporter with the Global Times.

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