The Chinese educational system

The Chinese educational system

本文曾在2004年中山大学外国语学院英语专业研究生课程班的“英语高级写作”
课程期末考试中获得了三个班中的最高分,虽然语法上尚有一些欠流利之处,但来自美国的教授(中文名“王道明”)很欣赏它的独立思考倾向,给予它很高的评价。

abstract

Chinese educational system has been criticized for a long time. In spite of this, something valuable developed slowly. In the paper, the author tries to discuss the problems existing in Chinese educational system and put forward some ideas or advices.

The government: which role it should be?

In china, the government is the main sponsor in the educational system. It was not until the last twenty years that the nongovernmental organization came to set foot in the educational industry. One of the reasons causing such a situation is that China is a country where the planned economy prevail, the government wants to control everything. With the development of economy, Chinese leader realizes that this should be changed. And then the nongovernmental organization is permitted to invest in school. But the number is little. Because the government is still the main sponsor, it keep interested in controlling the idea of the students, in China, all the schools have to set a curricula: Chinese politics, that is, a curricula concerning the theoretics of Marx , Mao zhe dong and Deng xiao ping. Although no students like this curricula, they have to spend lots of time in it during the period from elementary school to the university.

The great disadvantage of monopolization in education industry is that the competition among the universities is inadequate, because all of them belong to the government. Some universities will get large number of funds while others get little especially those general university. As has been reported, Peking University and Tsinghua University have get 180 million yuan respectively from the government in recent years. And Fudan University has get 120 million yuan, too. Of course it is a little number compared to the university in America, but it is not the same case in China, considering China is only the developing country.

Since the university get the money easily from the government, they don’t learn how to raise money, their beneficence from the schoolfellow or the corporation is little. In fact, in China, the president of the university never has any obligation to raise money, which become completely opposite in the America. The fact is: not all the universities are lucky like Peking University or Tsinghua University, they are always lack of money, and they have to find some ways to get money. The direct way is to enhance the tuition: the tuition had been enhanced for several times in the past five years. So, the problem arises: lots of children or youth have lost their chances for the education.

As has been pointed out, for the first time, man can reasonably begin to think that life is something more than a grim struggle for survival . But even today, in spite of the high standard of living which has become general in the more fortunate east of China, the majority of people in the west of China still spend nearly all their time and energy in a never-ending struggle with nature to secure the food and shelter they need. Even in this elementary effort millions of human beings each year die unnecessarily and wastefully from hunger, disease, or flood. Considering there are millions of people who are suffering these situations in China, can the officer advocate those fair-sounding excuse for enhancing tuition calmly? I don’t think they can. But , unfortunately, they can! And it is in China! And only in China such things can happen: each year more than 100 billion yuan is used in dine and wine for lots and lots officials while millions of children and youth have to discontinue their studying because of poverty!

It has to be change! The government ought to constitute laws to encourage the nongovernmental organization to join in the education system, ought to reduce the appropriate funds for the universities while at the same time put more money to the primary school and the middle school, letting the universities alone to learn how to raise money in ways of various kinds, not only by the way of increasing the tuition. And, furthermore, the government ought not to intervene to the affairs of the school, giving up the attempt to control the teacher and student's idea: maybe they do not believe in communism any longer, but it doesn’t matter, just let it go on naturally.

Great scholar or great building: how to choose?

In China, the educational fund is mostly used for the capital assets, not for fetching in the famous professor. Although at present the two top universities in china, Peking university and Tsinghua university have get large number of fund from the government, they have been dropped behind by the famous university in the world(the United States' university, for example ). Obviously, what causes this is that the Chinese universities always keep concentrating on the edifices, not the famous professor. Maybe someone might think that Chinese educators have acted in this way since the modern educational system spread from the west to china. It is not such a case at all. In fact, in the 1920s and 1940s, the Chinese educator took it for granted that the university would lose its hard core without the topping professor. We can realize it from what several famous educator have said. Mei yiqi, the president of Tsinghua university in that period, passed a famous wisdom for his successor: “the great university means great professor, not the edifice!” Such wisdom became very popular in the Chinese educational circle.

Sometimes we might think the machines in the school or the university make all the chief appointments, promoting the human beings who seem closest to them but not those who have erudite scholarship. And that is why the university have no great people in academia. Here we have to mention another excellent educator in the latter-day history of Chinese education, he is Cai yuanpei, the president of Peking university 1920s. Cai brought forward his educational idea: compatible ideas. He insisted that a university should accommodate all sorts of scholars belonging to different schools. He advocated the disputes in academia and held out for them. Of course he did not pay much attention to the capital assets. With the two presidents' leading, the two universities got their fame in the world, in the period of their splendor, both of them got into the family of the famous universities in the world, compared with their present situation: having no place in the competition between universities in the world in spite of their top place in China.

We should innovate our means by which the appropriate funds are used. Actions without any long plan should be stopped! According to the report from newspaper, the Fudan university in Shang hai, is planning to construct two 33-storied building in its campus. Maybe the university wants to add resplendence to itself, maybe it just only want to cause the attention from other universities. But , such a decision is deeply unwise! As has been pointed out, a university without great professor will lose its attraction, whatever glorious buildings it has! If the fund to be spent in glorious buildings is used to fetch the wise scholar, it will take great effect!

To produce a real person or an expert in examination?

In China, few of the teachers encourage the students to produce their own opinion, on the contrary, most of them tell the students to recite the content of the book. We could do with a few original, creative person in our learning life, if only to create some enthusiasm, release some energy——but where are they? We are asked to choose between various shades of the negative. Notice how the third-class person, without ideas and with no other passion but a craving for high mark, get on in the school, praised by their teacher because of their being docile. We are asking ourselves: what kinds of person are we expecting to? Shall we produce a real person or an expert in examination?

Two factors weigh heavily against the effectiveness of the students' thinking faculty. One is the general atmosphere of obeying to his parents or other older people in his childhood, the other the lack of freedom of the individuals in thinking during all his school time. When a child is born and then begin to know something about the society, he is told to do everything according to his parents. Such as “you should be quiet without moving or jumping”, “if your parents don’t tell you do something, never do it”, “being a docile boy in school” , and so on. If a child ask some question which are not easy to answer, the older people always scold them or lie to them. For example, if a child ask, “why the moon seems like a hook?” “oh, don’t ask such a bored questions! I think you should go to bed. ” or answer like this: “because the moon is eaten by a dog in the heaven ” obviously, among such an atmosphere, the children will gradually lose their interest in those things around them, because they know that their parents will not encourage them to do so, the best way to get the praise from parents is obey their parents , act in a way which the parents expect to. And only in this way they can become “a good boy” or “a good girl”. When children go to school, things continue. In china, the students have always been telling to recite the content of the books. If he does so, he will be a good student, because the main target of the students is the exam designed by some old scholastic. Getting top mark means good chance to the university or to the work position: the corporation always thinks it important for a student to get the good mark. So, in china, most of the students are engaged in reciting and remembrance, they are trying to memorize what their teacher has said in the classroom, they know that if they bear in mind all these content, they will pass the exam easily. Little by little, the students will become sorts of person who can not think independently but only to say what other people has said. This become of great importance when, as a result of the 1978 Education Act, the matriculation was resumed at that time.

In some universities, innovations have been taken. There the final is not the unique means to assess a student. The opinion which he expresses in the classroom will be considered as a factor. If he has published some paper especially in those famous science journal, he will get high praise too. In the classroom, many professors coming from the topping university in the world have changed their ways in teaching, they have learned something useful abroad.

In spite of all these changes, there is a long way to go. Although the universities attach importance to the academic paper, they have to deal with a serious problem: the cribbing. In China, either the student or the professor, enjoy themselves in cribbing! The great event happened in Peking university, a professor named Wang ming ming, a famous anthropologist in china, was criticized for his cribbing in a paper. In fact, the universities have realized that such a situations should be changed, unfortunately they can do little to attain their aim.

In my opinion, without the innovation in political arena, any change in other field will become almost impossible. It is time for us to ponder our whole system including the political system. The reasons, in my opinion, why Mr Deng xiao ping became a giant easily in the last twenty years, is that his innovation has kept away from the core question (the political system) and only concentrated on other aspects (the economy, the Chinese people always call it “developing problem”). Obviously, it is easy to get appreciation from the citizen when the economy situation shows good, but, the increase in economy will be temporary if the innovation only concerns the other aspects. In a word, the innovation in education system depends on the innovation in political system.

conclusion

The problems in Chinese education system are not only related to the system itself, but also to other system especially the political system. The educator can deal with some of them independently, but, they can not solve all of them. Without the innovation in political system, any action in education system will be difficult.



[本日志由 chun 于 2006-11-13 09:52 AM 编辑]
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