Education in China | Wikipedia audio article

Education in China is a state-run system of
public education run by the Ministry of Education. All citizens must attend school for at least
nine years, known as the nine-year compulsory education, which is funded by the government. Compulsory education includes six years of
primary education, starting at age six or seven, and three years of junior secondary
education (junior middle school) for ages 12 to 15. Some provinces may have five years of primary
school but four years for junior middle school. After junior middle school, there are three
years of senior middle school, which then completes the secondary education. The Ministry of Education reported a 99 percent
attendance rate for primary school and an 80 percent rate for both primary and middle
schools. In 1985, the government abolished tax-funded
higher education, requiring university applicants to compete for scholarships based on academic
ability. In the early 1980s the government allowed
the establishment of the first private institution of higher learning, increasing the number
of undergraduates and people who hold doctoral degrees fivefold from 1995 to 2005.In 2003,
central and local governments in China supported 1,552 institutions of higher learning (colleges
and universities) and their 725,000 professors and 11 million students (see List of universities
in China). There are over 100 National Key Universities,
including Peking University and Tsinghua University, which are considered to be an elite group
of Chinese universities. Chinese spending has grown by 20% per year
since 1999, now reaching over $100bn, and as many as 1.5 million science and engineering
students graduated from Chinese universities in 2006. China published 184,080 papers as of 2008.China
has also become a top destination for international students. As of 2013, China is the most popular country
in Asia for international students, and ranks third overall among countries. As of 2018, the country has the world’s second
highest number of top universities.Laws regulating the system of education include the Regulation
on Academic Degrees, the Compulsory Education Law, the Teachers Law, the Education Law,
the Law on Vocational Education, and the Law on Higher Education. See also: Law of the People’s Republic of
China. Although Shanghai and Hong Kong are among
the top performers in the Programme for International Student Assessment, China’s educational system
has been criticized for its rigorousness and its emphasis on test preparation.==History==Since the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76),
the education system in China has been geared toward economic modernization. In 1985, the national government ceded responsibility
for basic education to local governments through the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist
Party’s “Decision on the Reform of the Educational Structure.” In unveiling the education reform plan in
May 1985, the authorities called for nine years of compulsory education and the establishment
of the State Education Commission (created the following month). Official commitment to improved education
was nowhere more evident than in the substantial increase in funds for education in the Seventh
Five-Year Plan (1986–90), which amounted to 72 percent more than funds allotted to
education in the previous plan period (1981–85). In 1986 some 16.8 percent of the state budget
was earmarked for education, compared with 10.4 percent in 1984. Since 1949, education has been a focus of
controversy in China. As a result of continual intraparty realignments,
official policy alternated between ideological imperatives and practical efforts to further
national development. But ideology and pragmatism often have been
incompatible. The Great Leap Forward (1958–60) and the
Socialist Education Movement (1962–65) sought to end deeply rooted academic elitism, to
narrow social and cultural gaps between workers and peasants and between urban and rural populations,
and to eliminate the tendency of scholars and intellectuals to disdain manual labor. During the Cultural Revolution, universal
fostering of social equality was an overriding priority. The post-Mao Zedong Chinese Communist Party
leadership viewed education as the foundation of the Four Modernizations. In the early 1980s, science and technology
education became an important focus of education policy. By 1986 training skilled personnel and expanding
scientific and technical knowledge had been assigned the highest priority. Although the humanities were considered important,
vocational and technical skills were considered paramount for meeting China’s modernization
goals. The reorientation of educational priorities
paralleled Deng Xiaoping’s strategy for economic development. Emphasis also was placed on the further training
of the already-educated elite, who would carry on the modernization program in the coming
decades. Renewed emphasis on modern science and technology
led to the adoption, beginning in 1976, of an outward-looking policy that encouraged
learning and borrowing from abroad for advanced training in a wide range of scientific fields. Beginning at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh
National Party Congress Central Committee in December 1978, intellectuals were encouraged
to pursue research in support of the Four Modernizations and, as long as they complied
with the party’s “Four Cardinal Principles” they were given relatively free rein. But when the party and the government determined
that the strictures of the four cardinal principles had been stretched beyond tolerable limits,
they did not hesitate to restrict intellectual expression. Literature and the arts also experienced a
great revival in the late 1970s and 1980s. Traditional forms flourished once again, and
many new kinds of literature and cultural expression were introduced from abroad. As of 2015 the government-operated primary
and lower secondary (junior high) schools in China have 28.8 million students.==Development==Since the 1950s, China has been providing
a nine-year compulsory education to what amounts to a fifth of the world’s population. By 1999, primary school education had become
generalized in 90% of China, and mandatory nine-year compulsory education now effectively
covered 85% of the population. While the central and provincial governments
provide some funding for education, this varies from province to province, and funding in
the rural areas is notably lower than in major urban municipalities. Families must supplement money provided to
school by government with tuition fees, which means that some children have much less. However, parents place a very high value on
education, and make great personal sacrifices to send their children to school and to university. Illiteracy in the young and mid-aged population
has fallen from over 80 percent down to five percent. The system trained some 60 million mid- or
high-level professionals and near 400 million laborers to junior or senior high school level. Today, 250 million Chinese get three levels
of school education, (elementary, junior and senior high school) doubling the rate of increase
in the rest of the world during the same period. Net elementary school enrollment has reached
98.9 percent, and the gross enrollment rate in junior high schools 94.1 percent. China’s educational horizons are expanding. In the 1980s the MBA was virtually unknown
but by 2004 there were 47,000 MBAs, trained at 62 MBA schools. Many people also apply for international professional
qualifications, such as EMBA and MPA; close to 10,000 MPA students are enrolled in 47
schools of higher learning, including Peking University and Tsinghua University. The education market has rocketed, with training
and testing for professional qualifications, such as computer and foreign languages, thriving. Continuing education is the trend, once in
one’s life schooling has become lifelong learning. International cooperation and education exchanges
increase every year. China has more students studying abroad than
any other country; since 1979, there have been 697,000 Chinese students studying in
103 countries and regions, of whom 185,000 have returned after finishing their studies. The number of foreign students studying in
China has also increased rapidly; in 2004, over 110,000 students from 178 countries were
studying at China’s universities. Investment in education has increased in recent
years; the proportion of the overall budget allocated to education has been increased
by one percentage point every year since 1998. According to a Ministry of Education program,
the government will set up an educational finance system in line with the public finance
system, strengthen the responsibility of governments at all levels in educational investment, and
ensure that their financial allocation for educational expenditure grows faster than
their regular revenue. The program also set out the government’s
aim that educational investment should account for four percent of GDP in a relatively short
period of time. For non-compulsory education, China adopts
a shared-cost mechanism, charging tuition at a certain percentage of the cost. Meanwhile, to ensure that students from low-income
families have access to higher education, the government has initiated effective ways
of assistance, with policies and measures as scholarships, work-study programs, subsidies
for students with special economic difficulties, tuition reduction or exemption and state stipends. The government has committed itself to markedly
raising educational levels generally, as evidenced in a Ministry of Education program; by 2020,
of every 100,000 people, 13,500 will have had junior college education or above and
some 31,000 will have had senior high school schooling; rates for illiteracy and semi-literacy
rate will fall below three percent; and average schooling duration across the population will
increase from today’s eight years to nearly 11. In the 2009 test of the Programme for International
Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance
by the OECD, Chinese students from Shanghai achieved the best results in mathematics,
science and reading. The OECD also found that even in some of the
very poor rural areas the performance is close to the OECD average. However, controversy has surrounded the high
scores achieved by the Chinese students due to the unusual spread of the numerical data,
with suggestions that schools were ‘gaming’ students for the exams. Also while averages across the breadth of
other countries are reported, China’s rankings are taken from only a few select districts.==Education policy==Deng Xiaoping’s far-ranging educational reform
policy, which involved all levels of the education system, aimed to narrow the gap between China
and other developing countries. Modernizing education was critical to modernizing
China. Devolution of educational management from
the central to the local level was the means chosen to improve the education system. Centralized authority was not abandoned, however,
as evidenced by the creation of the State Education Commission. Academically, the goals of reform were to
enhance and universalize elementary and junior middle school education; to increase the number
of schools and qualified teachers; and to develop vocational and technical education. A uniform standard for curricula, textbooks,
examinations, and teacher qualifications (especially at the middle-school level) was established,
and considerable autonomy and variations in and among the autonomous regions, provinces,
and special municipalities were allowed. Further, the system of enrollment and job
assignment in higher education was changed, and excessive government control over colleges
and universities was reduced. However the education system of the PRC still
discourages innovation and independent thinking, causing delays in even such high-profile national
projects as the J-XX fifth-generation jet fighters.==Education system=====
Compulsory education law===The Law on Nine-Year Compulsory Education
(中华人民共和国义务教育法), which took effect on July 1, 1986, established requirements
and deadlines for attaining universal education tailored to local conditions and guaranteed
school-age children the right to receive at least nine years of education (six-year primary
education and three years secondary education). People’s congresses at various local levels
were, within certain guidelines and according to local conditions, to decide the steps,
methods, and deadlines for implementing nine-year compulsory education in accordance with the
guidelines formulated by the central authorities. The program sought to bring rural areas, which
had four to six years of compulsory schooling, into line with their urban counterparts. Education departments were exhorted to train
millions of skilled workers for all trades and professions and to offer guidelines, curricula,
and methods to comply with the reform program and modernization needs. Provincial-level authorities were to develop
plans, enact decrees and rules, distribute funds to counties, and administer directly
a few key secondary schools. County authorities were to distribute funds
to each township government, which were to make up for any deficiencies. County authorities were to supervise education
and teaching and to manage their own senior middle schools, teachers’ schools, teachers’
in-service training schools, agricultural vocational schools, and exemplary primary
and junior middle schools. The remaining schools were to be managed separately
by the county and township authorities. The compulsory education law divided China
into three categories: cities and economically developed areas in coastal provinces and a
small number of developed areas in the hinterland; towns and villages with medium development;
and economically backward areas. By November 1985 the first category – the
larger cities and approximately 20 percent of the counties (mainly in the more developed
coastal and southeastern areas of China) had achieved universal 9-year education. By 1990 cities, economically developed areas
in coastal provincial-level units, and a small number of developed interior areas (approximately
25 percent of China’s population) and areas where junior middle schools were already popularized
were targeted to have universal junior-middle-school education. Education planners had envisioned that by
the mid-1990s all workers and staff in coastal areas, inland cities, and moderately developed
areas (with a combined population of 300 million to 400 million people) would have either compulsory
9-year or vocational education and that 5 percent of the people in these areas would
have a college education – building a solid intellectual foundation for China. Further, the planners expected that secondary
education and university entrants would also have increased by the year 2000. The second category targeted under the 9-year
compulsory education law consisted of towns and villages with medium-level development
(around 50 percent of China’s population), where universal education was expected to
reach the junior-middle-school level by 1995. Technical and higher education was projected
to develop at the same rate. The third category, economically backward
(rural) areas (around 25 percent of China’s population ) were to popularize basic education
without a timetable and at various levels according to local economic development, though
the state would try to support educational development. The state also would assist education in minority
nationality areas. In the past, rural areas, which lacked a standardized
and universal primary education system, had produced generations of illiterates; only
60 percent of their primary school graduates had met established standards. As a further example of the government’s commitment
to nine-year compulsory education, in January 1986 the State Council drafted a bill passed
at the Fourteenth Session of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People’s Congress
that made it illegal for any organization or individual to employ youths before they
had completed their nine years of schooling. The bill also authorized free education and
subsidies for students whose families had financial difficulties. Tuition-free primary education is, despite
compulsory education laws, still a target rather than a realized goal throughout China. As many families have difficulty paying school
fees, some children are forced to leave school earlier than the nine-year goal. The 9-year System is called “Nine Years – One
Policy”, or “九年一贯制” in Chinese. It usually refers to the educational integration
of the elementary school and the middle school. After graduating from the elementary school,
graduates can directly enter into the junior middle school. The grades in schools which implement the
9-year System are usually called Grade 1, Grade 2, and so on through Grade 9. Main features of 9-year System: Continuity. Students finish education from the elementary
school to the middle school. The principle of proximity. Students enter into the nearby school instead
of middle school entrance examination. Unity. Schools which carry out the 9-year System
practice unified management in school administration, teaching and education.===Basic education===
China’s basic education involves pre-school, nine-year compulsory education from elementary
to junior high school, standard senior high school education, special education for disabled
children, and education for illiterate people. China has over 200 million elementary and
high school students, who, together with pre-school children, account for one sixth of the total
population. For this reason the Central Government has
prioritized basic education as a key field of infrastructure construction and educational
development. In recent years, senior high school education
has developed steadily. In 2004 enrollment was 8.215 million, 2.3
times that of 1988. Gross national enrollment in senior high schools
has reached 43.8 percent, still lower than that of other developed countries. The government has created a special fund
to improve conditions in China’s elementary and high schools, for new construction, expansion
and the re-building of run-down structures. Per-capita educational expenditure for elementary
and high school students has grown greatly, teaching and research equipment, books and
documents being updated and renewed every year. Government’s aim for the development of China’s
basic education system is to approach or attain the level of moderately developed countries
by 2010. Graduates of China’s primary and secondary
schools test highly in both basic skills and critical thinking skills; however, due to
poor health, rural students often drop out or lag in achievement.===Key schools===
“Key schools,” shut down during the Cultural Revolution, reappeared in the late 1970s and,
in the early 1980s, became an integral part of the effort to revive the lapsed education
system. Because educational resources were scarce,
selected (“key”) institutions – usually those with records of past educational accomplishment
– were given priority in the assignment of teachers, equipment, and funds. They also were allowed to recruit the best
students for special training to compete for admission to top schools at the next level. Key schools constituted only a small percentage
of all regular senior middle schools and funneled the best students into the best secondary
schools, largely on the basis of entrance scores. In 1980 the greatest resources were allocated
to the key schools that would produce the greatest number of college entrants. In early 1987 efforts had begun to develop
the key school from a preparatory school into a vehicle for diffusing improved curricula,
materials, and teaching practices to local schools. Moreover, the appropriateness of a key school’s
role in the nine-year basic education plan was questioned by some officials because key
schools favored urban areas and the children of more affluent and better educated parents. Changchun, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Xiamen, and
other cities, and education departments in Shanghai and Tianjin were moving to establish
a student recommendation system and eliminate key schools. In 1986 the Shanghai Educational Bureau abolished
the key junior-middle-school system to ensure “an overall level of education.” Despite the effort to abolish the “Key Schools”
system, the practice still exists today under other names, and education inequality is still
being widely criticized by some government officials and scholars.===Training schools===
Training schools, also called Training Centers, are a type of private education offered by
private companies that help students in China, typically 3–12 years old, improve their
performance in academic subjects such as English, math, or Chinese. Training schools can range anywhere from a
one-room operation with only one teacher, to very large corporations with hundreds of
thousands of students.==Primary education=====
Primary schools===The institution of primary education in a
country as vast as China has been an impressive accomplishment. In contrast to the 20 percent enrollment rate
before 1949, in 1985 about 96 percent of primary school age children were enrolled in approximately
832,300 primary schools. This enrollment figure compared favorably
with the recorded figures of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when enrollment standards
were more egalitarian. In 1985 the World Bank estimated that enrollments
in primary schools would decrease from 136 million in 1983 to 95 million in the late
1990s and that the decreased enrollment would reduce the number of teachers needed. Qualified teachers, however, would continue
to be in demand. Under the Law on Nine-Year Compulsory Education,
primary schools were to be tuition-free and reasonably located for the convenience of
children attending them; students would attend primary schools in their neighborhoods or
villages. Parents paid a small fee per term for books
and other expenses such as transportation, food, and heating. Previously, fees were not considered a deterrent
to attendance. Under the education reform, students from
poor families received stipends, and state enterprises, institutions, and other sectors
of society were encouraged to establish their own schools. A major concern was that scarce resources
be conserved without causing enrollment to fall and without weakening of the better schools. In particular, local governments were told
not to pursue middle-school education blindly while primary school education was still developing,
or to wrest money, teaching staff, and materials from primary schools. Children usually entered primary school at
seven years of age for six days a week, which after regulatory changes in 1995 and 1997
were changed to five and a half and five days, respectively. The two-semester school year consisted of
9.5 months, and began on September 1 and March 1, with a summer vacation in July and August
and a winter vacation in January and February. Urban primary schools typically divided the
school week into twenty-four to twenty-seven classes of forty-five minutes each, but in
the rural areas, the norm was half-day schooling, more flexible schedules, and itinerant teachers. Most primary schools had a five-year course,
except in such cities as Beijing and Shanghai, and later other major cities, which had reintroduced
six-year primary schools and accepted children at six and one-half years rather than seven. The primary-school curriculum consisted of
Chinese, mathematics, physical education, music, drawing, and elementary instruction
in nature, history, and geography, combined with practical work experiences around the
school compound. A general knowledge of politics and moral
training, which stressed love of the motherland, love of the party, and love of the people
(and previously love of Chairman Mao), was another part of the curriculum. A foreign language, often English, is introduced
in about the third grade. Chinese and mathematics accounted for about
60 percent of the scheduled class time; natural science and social science accounted for about
8 percent. Putonghua (common spoken language) was taught
in regular schools and pinyin romanization in lower grades and kindergarten. The Ministry of Education required that all
primary schools offer courses on morality and ethics. Beginning in the fourth grade, students usually
had to perform productive labor two weeks per semester to relate classwork with production
experience in workshops or on farms and relate it to academic study. Most schools had after-hour activities at
least one day per week to involve students in recreation and community service. By 1980 the percentage of students enrolled
in primary schools was high, but the schools reported high dropout rates and regional enrollment
gaps (most enrollees were concentrated in the cities). Only one in four counties had universal primary
education. On the average, 10 percent of the students
dropped out between each grade. During the 1979–83 period, the government
acknowledged the “9-6-3” rule, that is, that nine of ten children began primary school,
six completed it, and three graduated with good performance. This meant that only about 60 percent of primary
students actually completed their five-year program of study and graduated, and only about
30 percent were regarded as having primary-level competence. Statistics in the mid-1980s showed that more
rural girls than boys dropped out of school. Within the framework of the Law on Nine-Year
Compulsory Education and the general trend toward vocational and technical skills, attempts
were made to accommodate and correct the gap between urban and rural education. Urban and key schools almost invariably operated
on a six-day full-time schedule to prepare students for further education and high-level
jobs. Rural schools generally operated on a flexible
schedule geared to the needs of the agricultural seasons and sought to prepare students for
adult life and manual labor in lower-skilled jobs. They also offered a more limited curriculum,
often only Chinese, mathematics, and morals. To promote attendance and allow the class
schedule and academic year to be completed, agricultural seasons were taken into account. School holidays were moved, school days shortened,
and full-time, half-time, and spare-time classes offered in the slack agricultural seasons. Sometimes itinerant teachers were hired for
mountain villages and served one village in the morning, another village in the afternoon. Rural parents were generally well aware that
their children had limited opportunities to further their education. Some parents saw little use in having their
children attend even primary school, especially after the establishment of the agricultural
responsibility system. Under that system, parents preferred that
their children work to increase family income – and withdrew them from school – for both
long and short periods of time.===Preschool education===
Preschool education, which began at age three, was another target of education reform in
1985. Preschool facilities were to be established
in buildings made available by public enterprises, production teams, municipal authorities, local
groups, and families. The government announced that it depended
on individual organizations to sponsor their own preschool education and that preschool
education was to become a part of the welfare services of various government organizations,
institutes, and state- and collectively operated enterprises. Costs for preschool education varied according
to services rendered. Officials also called for more preschool teachers
with more appropriate training.===Special education===
The 1985 National Conference on Education also recognized the importance of special
education, in the form of programs for gifted children and for slow learners. Gifted children were allowed to skip grades. Slow learners were encouraged to reach minimum
standards, although those who did not maintain the pace seldom reached the next stage. For the most part, children with severe learning
problems and those with handicaps and psychological needs were the responsibilities of their families. Extra provisions were made for blind and severely
hearing-impaired children, although in 1984 special schools enrolled fewer than 2 percent
of all eligible children in those categories. The China Welfare Fund, established in 1984,
received state funding and had the right to solicit donations within China and from abroad,
but special education has remained a low government priority. Today, China has 1,540 schools for special
education, with 375,000 students; more than 1,000 vocational training institutes for disabled
people, nearly 3,000 standard vocational training and education institutes that also admit disabled
people; more than 1,700 training organizations for rehabilitating hearing-impaired children,
with over 100,000 trained and in-training children. In 2004, 4,112 disabled students entered ordinary
schools of higher learning. Of disabled children receiving special education,
63.6 percent of total recruitment numbers and 66.2 percent of enrollment were in ordinary
schools or special classes thereof.==Secondary education=====History===Secondary education in China has a complicated
history. In the early 1960s, education planners followed
a policy called “walking on two legs,” which established both regular academic schools
and separate technical schools for vocational training. The rapid expansion of secondary education
during the Cultural Revolution created serious problems; because resources were spread too
thinly, educational quality declined. Further, this expansion was limited to regular
secondary schools; technical schools were closed during the Cultural Revolution because
they were viewed as an attempt to provide inferior education to children of worker and
peasant families. In the late 1970s, government and party representatives
criticized what they termed the “unitary” approach of the 1960s, arguing that it ignored
the need for two kinds of graduates: those with an academic education (college preparatory)
and those with specialized technical education (vocational). Beginning in 1976 with the renewed emphasis
on technical training, technical schools reopened, and their enrollments increased. In the drive to spread vocational and technical
education, regular secondary-school enrollments fell. By 1986 universal secondary education was
part of the nine-year compulsory education law that made primary education (six years)
and junior-middle-school education (three years) mandatory. The desire to consolidate existing schools
and to improve the quality of key middle schools was, however, under the education reform,
more important than expanding enrollment.===Junior secondary===
Junior secondary education is more commonly known as (junior) middle school education,
it consists the last three years of nine years compulsory education. Students who live in rural areas are often
boarded into townships to receive their education.===Senior secondary===Senior secondary education often refers to
three years of high school (or called senior middle school) education, as from grade 10
to grade 12. Normally, students who have finished six years
of primary education will continue three more years of academic study in middle schools
as regulated by the Compulsory education law at the age of twelve. This, however, is not compulsory for senior
secondary education, where junior graduates may choose to continue a three-year academic
education in academic high schools, which will eventually lead to university, or to
switch to a vocational course in vocational high schools. Generally, high school years usually have
two semesters, starting in September and February. In some rural areas, operation may be subject
to agricultural cycles. The number of lessons offered by a school
on a weekly basis is very subjective, and largely depends on the school’s resources. In addition to normal lessons, periods for
private study and extracurricular activity are provided as well. The academic curriculum consists of Chinese,
Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Ideology & Political
Science, Music, Fine Arts, PE, Technology, Computing etc. Some schools may also offer vocational subjects. Generally speaking, Chinese, Mathematics and
English are considered as three main subjects as they will definitely be examined in Gaokao. In most provinces, students also need to be
examined in either natural sciences, which incorporate Physics, Chemistry and Biology,
or social sciences, which incorporate Geography, History and Ideology & Political Science. In China, a senior high school graduate will
be considered as an educated person, although the majority of graduates will go on to universities
or vocational colleges. Given that the competition for limited university
places is extremely intense, most high schools are evaluated by their academic performance
in Gaokao by parents and students.====Admissions and Zhongkao====Zhongkao (中考), the Senior High School
Entrance Examination, is the academic examination held annually in China to distinguish junior
graduates. Generally speaking, students will be tested
in Chinese, Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry, Political Science and PE. However, the scoring system may change, and
vary between different areas. Admission for senior high schools, especially
selective high schools, is somewhat similar to the one for universities in China. Students will go through an application system
where they may choose the high schools at which they wish to study in an order to their
preference before the high schools set out their entrance requirements. Once this is completed and the high schools
will announce their requirements based on this information and the places they will
offer in that year. For instance, if the school offers 800 places
in that year, the results offered by the 800th intake student will be the standard requirements. So effectively, this ensures the school selects
the top candidates in all the students who have applied to said school in that academic
year. However, the severe competition only occurs
in the very top high schools, normally, most students will have sufficient results for
them to continue their secondary education if they wish to. There are other official rules of admission
in certain top high schools. If a prestigious senior high school wants
to admit 800 students a year, the admissions office ranks students’ scores from highest
to lowest and then selects their first 700 students. The other 100 positions are provided to students
who don’t meet the requirement standard but still want to study at that school. These prospects need to pay extra school fees. A student can’t perform badly in zhongkao,
if their scores are close to the requirement standard, they could still study in that top
school if they can afford the expenses. Those who study in that high school must also
place maximum 2 points below the standard requirement. Usually, 0.5 points is a standard. For instance, if you are 2 points below the
standard requirement, you pay four times as much as the student who gets 0.5 points below
the standard requirement. The admissions of the 100 students which are
required to pay the school fees usually do not get the same admission letters as normal
students receive, but they can still study and live with normal students in the same
high school with the same teacher.====Vocational and technical schools====
The “Law on Vocational Education” was issued in 1996. Vocational education embraces higher vocational
schools, secondary skill schools, vestibule schools, vocational high schools, job-finding
centers and other adult skill and social training institutes. To enable vocational education to better accommodate
the demands of economic re-structuring and urbanization, in recent years the government
has remodeled vocational education, oriented towards obtaining employment, and focusing
on two major vocational education projects to meet society’s ever more acute demand for
high quality, skilled workers. These are cultivating skilled workers urgently
needed in modern manufacture and service industries; and training rural laborers moving to urban
areas. To accelerate vocational education in western
areas, the Central Government has used government bonds to build 186 vocational education centers
in impoverished western area counties. Both regular and vocational secondary schools
sought to serve modernization needs. A number of technical and “skilled-worker”
training schools reopened after the Cultural Revolution, and an effort was made to provide
exposure to vocational subjects in general secondary schools (by offering courses in
industry, services, business, and agriculture). By 1985 there were almost 3 million vocational
and technical students. Under the educational reform tenets, polytechnic
colleges were to give priority to admitting secondary vocational and technical school
graduates and providing on-the-job training for qualified workers. Education reformers continued to press for
the conversion of about 50 percent of upper secondary education into vocational education,
which traditionally had been weak in the rural areas. Regular senior middle schools were to be converted
into vocational middle schools, and vocational training classes were to be established in
some senior middle schools. Diversion of students from academic to technical
education was intended to alleviate skill shortages and to reduce the competition for
university enrollment. Although enrollment in technical schools of
various kinds had not yet increased enough to compensate for decreasing enrollments in
regular senior middle schools, the proportion of vocational and technical students to total
senior-middle-school students increased from about 5 percent in 1978 to almost 36 percent
in 1985, although development was uneven. Further, to encourage greater numbers of junior-middle-school
graduates to enter technical schools, vocational and technical school graduates were given
priority in job assignments, while other job seekers had to take technical tests. In 1987 there were four kinds of secondary
vocational and technical schools: 1) technical schools that offered a four-year, post-junior
middle course and two- to three-year post-senior middle training in such fields as commerce,
legal work, fine arts, and forestry; 2) workers’ training schools that accepted students whose
senior-middle-school education consisted of two years of training in such trades as carpentry
and welding; 3) vocational technical schools that accepted either junior-or senior-middle-school
students for one- to three-year courses in cooking, tailoring, photography, and other
services; and 4) agricultural middle schools that offered basic subjects and agricultural
science. These technical schools had several hundred
different programs. Their narrow specializations had advantages
in that they offered in-depth training, reducing the need for on-the-job training and thereby
lowering learning time and costs. Moreover, students were more motivated to
study if there were links between training and future jobs. Much of the training could be done at existing
enterprises, where staff and equipment was available at little additional cost. There were some disadvantages to this system,
however. Under the Four Modernizations, technically
trained generalists were needed more than highly specialized technicians. Also, highly specialized equipment and staff
were underused, and there was an overall shortage of specialized facilities to conduct training. In addition, large expenses were incurred
in providing the necessary facilities and staff, and the trend in some government technical
agencies was toward more general technical and vocational education. Further, the dropout rate continued to have
a negative effect on the labor pool as upper-secondary-school technical students dropped out and as the
percentage of lower-secondary-school graduates entering the labor market without job training
increased. Occupational rigidity and the geographic immobility
of the population, particularly in rural areas, further limited educational choices. Although there were 668,000 new polytechnic
school enrollments in 1985, the Seventh Five-Year Plan called for annual increases of 2 million
mid-level skilled workers and 400,000 senior technicians, indicating that enrollment levels
were still far from sufficient. To improve the situation, in July 1986 officials
from the State Education Commission, State Planning Commission, and Ministry of Labor
and Personnel convened a national conference on developing China’s technical and vocational
education. It was decided that technical and vocational
education in rural areas should accommodate local conditions and be conducted on a short-term
basis. Where conditions permitted, emphasis would
be placed on organizing technical schools and short-term training classes. To alleviate the shortage of teachers, vocational
and technical teachers’ colleges were to be reformed and other colleges and universities
were to be mobilized for assistance. The State Council decision to improve training
for workers who had passed technical examinations (as opposed to unskilled workers) was intended
to reinforce the development of vocational and technical schools. Expanding and improving secondary vocational
education has long been an objective of China’s educational reformers, for vocational schools
are seen as those which are best placed to address (by providing trained workers) the
rising needs of the nation’s expanding economy, especially its manufacturing and industrial
sectors. Without an educated and trained work force,
China cannot have economic, hence social and national, development. Yet, given a finite, and often quite limited,
pot of money for secondary schools, an allocation competition/conflict necessarily exists between
its two sub-sectors: general education and vocational/technical education. Regardless, an over-enrollment in the latter
has been the overall result of the mid-1980s reforms. Yet firms that must seek workers from this
graduate pool have remained unimpressed with the quality of recruits and have had to rely
on their own job-training programs that provide re-education for their newly hired workers. The public, also, has not been very enthusiastic
over vocational secondary education which, unlike general education, does not lead to
the possibility of higher education. The public’s perception is that these schools
provide little more than a dead end for their children. Also, vocational institutions are more expensive
to run than their counterparts in general education, and they have not had sufficient
money to modernize their facilities, as China’s modernizing national economy demands. By mid-decade of the 21st Century, therefore,
academics and policy-makers alike began to question the policy that pours funds into
vocational schools that do not do their intended function.==International education==As of January 2015, the International Schools
Consultancy (ISC) listed China as having 481 international schools. ISC defines an ‘international school’ in the
following terms “ISC includes an international school if the school delivers a curriculum
to any combination of pre-school, primary or secondary students, wholly or partly in
English outside an English-speaking country, or if a school in a country where English
is one of the official languages, offers an English-medium curriculum other than the country’s
national curriculum and is international in its orientation.” This definition is used by publications including
The Economist. There were 177,400 students enrolled in international
schools in 2014.2013 Nicholas Brummitt, managing director of ISC, reported that there were
338 international schools in Mainland China as of 2013, with 184,073 students. Slightly more than half of the international
schools are in the major expatriate areas of China: Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong
Province, while the remainder are in other areas. Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have the
most international schools while significant numbers also exist in Shenzhen and Chengdu.Many
international schools in Beijing and Shanghai, in accordance with Chinese law, are only permitted
to enroll students having citizenship in areas other than Mainland China. This is because Mainland Chinese students
are required to have a certain curriculum, and schools that do not include this curriculum
are not permitted to enroll Mainlanders. Mainlander children who hold foreign passports
are permitted to attend these schools. Students from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
may attend international schools for foreigners. As of 2014, 19 international schools in Beijing
are restricted to non-Mainlanders. There are also schools using international
curricula that accept both Mainlander and non-Mainlander students.By 2004 increased
international business operations resulted in an increase of foreigner children. Many of the original post-1949 international
schools used International Baccalaureate and North American curricula. By 2004 many international schools in Beijing
and Shanghai using the British curricula had opened. The number of international schools in 2013
is an increase from 22 international schools in 2001, with a total of 25 times fewer students. By the 2010s many Mainland Chinese parents
began sending their children to international schools which accept Mainland students to
increase their children’s chances of going overseas.There is an increasing number of
international universities representation in China in recent years, including but not
limited to CEIBS and Yale Center Beijing. Columbia Global Centers Beijing opened in
2009 and Harvard Institute Shanghai opened in 2010. Cornell Global is planning to have presence
in both Beijing and Shanghai. MIT has an innovation node in Hong Kong. Stanford University established an academic
center in Peking University.==Higher education==By the end of 2004, China had 2,236 schools
of Higher Learning, with over 20 million students; the gross rate of enrollment in schools of
higher learning reached 19 percent. Postgraduate education is the fastest growing
sector, with 24.1 percent more students recruited and 25.9 percent more researchers than the
year before. This enrollment growth indicates that China
has entered the stage of popular education. The UNESCO world higher education report of
June 2003 pointed out that the student population of China’s schools of higher learning had
doubled in a very short period of time, and was the world’s largest. Particular attention has been paid to improving
systems in recent reforms. Many industrial multiversities and specialist
colleges have been established, strengthening some incomplete subjects and establishing
new specialties, e.g., automation, nuclear power, energy resources, oceanography, nuclear
physics, computer science, polymer chemistry, polymer physics, radiochemistry, physical
chemistry and biophysics. A project for creating 100 world class universities
began in 1993, which has merged 708 schools of higher learning into 302 universities. Merging schools of higher learning has produced
far-reaching reform of higher education management, optimizing of educational resources allocation,
and further improving teaching quality and school standards. More than 30 universities have received help
from a special national fund to support their attainment of world elite class. Between 1999 and 2003, enrollment in higher
education increased from 1.6 million to 3.82 million. In 2004, the total enrollment in ordinary
schools of higher learning was 4.473 million, 651,000 more than in 2003. Schools of higher learning and research institutes
enrolled 326,000 postgraduate students, 57,000 more than the previous year. In 2010 China is expecting 6.3 million students
to graduate from College or University, with 63% likely to enter the work force.The contribution
to China’s economic construction and social development made by research in the higher
education sector is becoming ever more evident. By strengthening cooperation among their production,
teaching and research, schools of higher learning are speeding up the process in turning sci-tech
research results into products, giving rise to many new and hi-tech enterprises and important
innovations. Forty-three national university sci-tech parks
have been started or approved, some of which have become important bases for commercializing
The quality of Higher education in modern China has changed at various times, reflecting
shifts in the political policies implemented by the central government. Following the founding of the PRC, in 1949,
the Chinese government’s educational focus was largely on political “re-education”. In periods of political upheaval, such as
the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, ideology was stressed over professional or
technical competence. During the early stages of the Cultural Revolution
(1966-1969), tens of thousands of college students joined Red Guard organizations, which
persecuted many university faculty members as “counter-revolutionaries” and effectively
closed China’s universities. When universities reopened in the early 1970s,
enrollments were reduced from pre-Cultural Revolution levels, and admission was restricted
to individuals who had been recommended by their work unit (danwei), possessed good political
credentials, and had distinguished themselves in manual labor. In the absence of stringent and reasonably
objective entrance examinations, political connections became increasingly important
in securing the recommendations and political dossiers necessary to qualify for university
admission. As a result, the decline in educational quality
was profound. Deng Xiaoping reportedly wrote Mao Zedong
in 1975 that university graduates were “not even capable of reading a book” in their own
fields when they left the university. University faculty and administrators were
demoralized by the political aspects of the university system. Efforts made in 1975 to improve educational
quality were unsuccessful. By 1980 it appeared doubtful that the politically
oriented admission criteria had accomplished even the purpose of increasing enrollment
of worker and peasant children. Successful candidates for university entrance
were usually children of cadres and officials who used personal connections that allowed
them to “enter through the back door.” Students from officials’ families would accept
the requisite minimum two-year work assignment in the countryside, often in a suburban location
that allowed them to remain close to their families. Village cadres, anxious to please the parents/officials,
gladly recommended these youths for university placement after the labor requirement had
been met. The child of an official family was then on
his or her way to a university without having academic ability, a record of political activism,
or a distinguished work record. After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, steps
were taken to improve educational quality by establishing order and stability, calling
for an end to political contention on university campuses, and expanding university enrollments. This pressure to maintain quality and minimize
expenditures led to efforts both to run existing institutions more efficiently and to develop
other college and university programs. As a result, labor colleges for training agro-technicians
and factory-run colleges for providing technical education for workers were established. In addition, eighty-eight institutions and
key universities were provided with special funding, top students and faculty members,
and other support, and they recruited the most academically qualified students without
regard to family background or political activism.===Modernization goals in the 1980s===The commitment to the Four Modernizations
required great advances in science and technology. Under the modernization program, higher education
was to be the cornerstone for training and research. Because modernization depended on a vastly
increased and improved capability to train scientists and engineers for needed breakthroughs,
the renewed concern for higher education and academic quality – and the central role that
the sciences were expected to play in the Four Modernizations – highlighted the need
for scientific research and training. This concern can be traced to the critical
personnel shortages and qualitative deficiencies in the sciences resulting from the unproductive
years of the Cultural Revolution, when higher education was shut down. In response to the need for scientific training,
the Sixth Plenum of the Twelfth National Party Congress Central Committee, held in September
1986, adopted a resolution on the guiding principles for building a socialist society
that strongly emphasized the importance of education and science. Reformers realized, however, that the higher
education system was far from meeting modernization goals and that additional changes were needed. The Provisional Regulations Concerning the
Management of Institutions of Higher Learning, promulgated by the State Council in 1986,
initiated vast changes in administration and adjusted educational opportunity, direction,
and content. With the increased independence accorded under
the education reform, universities and colleges were able to choose their own teaching plans
and curricula; to accept projects from or cooperate with other socialist establishments
for scientific research and technical development in setting up “combines” involving teaching,
scientific research, and production; to suggest appointments and removals of vice presidents
and other staff members; to take charge of the distribution of capital construction investment
and funds allocated by the state; and to be responsible for the development of international
exchanges by using their own funds. The changes also allowed the universities
to accept financial aid from work units and decide how this money was to be used without
asking for more money from departments in charge of education. Further, higher education institutions and
work units could sign contracts for the training of students. Higher education institutions also were assigned
a greater role in running inter-regional and inter-departmental schools. Within their state-approved budgets, universities
secured more freedom to allocate funds as they saw fit and to use income from tuition
and technical and advisory services for their own development, including collective welfare
and bonuses. There also was a renewed interest in television,
radio, and correspondence classes (see distance learning and electronic learning). Some of the courses, particularly in the college-run
factories, were serious, full-time enterprises, with a two- to three-year curriculum.====Entrance examinations and admission criteria
====National examinations to select students for
higher education (and positions of leadership) were an important part of China’s culture,
and, traditionally, entrance to a higher education institution is considered prestigious. Although the examination system for admission
to colleges and universities has undergone many changes since the Cultural Revolution,
it remains the basis for recruiting academically able students. When higher education institutions were reopened
in early 1970s, candidates for entrance examinations had to be senior-middle-school graduates or
the equivalent, generally below twenty-six years of age. Work experience requirements were eliminated,
but workers and staff members needed permission from their enterprises to take the examinations. Each provincial-level unit was assigned a
quota of students to be admitted to key universities, a second quota of students for regular universities
within that administrative division, and a third quota of students from other provinces,
autonomous regions, and special municipalities who would be admitted to institutions operated
at the provincial level. Provincial-level administrative units selected
students with outstanding records to take the examinations. Additionally, preselection examinations were
organized by the provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities for potential students
(from three to five times the number of places allotted). These candidates were actively encouraged
to take the examination to ensure that a sufficient number of good applicants would be available. Cadres with at least two years of work experience
were recruited for selected departments in a small number of universities on an experimental
basis. Preferential admission treatment (in spite
of lower test scores) was given to minority candidates, students from disadvantaged areas,
and those who agreed in advance to work in less developed regions after graduation. In December 1977, when uniform national examinations
were reinstated, 5.7 million students took the examinations, although university placement
was available for only the 278,000 applicants with the highest scores. In July 1984, about 1.6 million candidates
(30,000 fewer than in 1983) took the entrance examinations for the 430,000 places in China’s
more than 900 colleges and universities. Of the 1.6 million examinees, more than 1
million took the test for placement in science and engineering colleges; 415,000 for places
in liberal arts colleges; 88,000 for placement in foreign language institutions; and 15,000
for placement in sports universities and schools. More than 100,000 of the candidates were from
national minority groups. A year later, there were approximately 1.8
million students taking the three-day college entrance examination to compete for 560,000
places. Liberal arts candidates were tested on politics,
Chinese, mathematics, foreign languages, history, and geography. Science and engineering candidates were tested
on politics, Chinese, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Entrance examinations also were given in 1985
for professional and technical schools, which sought to enroll 550,000 new students. Other innovations in enrollment practices,
included allowing colleges and universities to admit students with good academic records
but relatively low entrance-examination scores. Some colleges were allowed to try an experimental
student recommendation system – fixed at 2 percent of the total enrollment for regular
colleges and 5 percent for teachers’ colleges – instead of the traditional entrance examination. A minimum national examination score was established
for admission to specific departments at specially designated colleges and universities, and
the minimum score for admission to other universities was set by provincial-level authorities. Key universities established separate classes
for minorities. When several applicants attained the minimum
test score, the school had the option of making a selection, a policy that gave university
faculty and administrators a certain amount of discretion but still protected admission
according to academic ability. In addition to the written examination, university
applicants had to pass a physical examination and a political screening. Less than 2 percent of the students who passed
the written test were eliminated for reasons of poor health. The number disqualified for political reasons
was known, but publicly the party maintained that the number was very small and that it
sought to ensure that only the most able students actually entered colleges and universities. By 1985 the number of institutions of higher
learning had again increased – to slightly more than 1,000. The State Education Commission and the Ministry
of Finance issued a joint declaration for nationwide unified enrollment of adult students
– not the regular secondary-school graduates but the members of the work force who qualified
for admission by taking a test. The State Education Commission established
unified questions and time and evaluation criteria for the test and authorized provinces,
autonomous regions, and special municipalities to administer the test, grade the papers in
a uniform manner, and determine the minimum points required for admission. The various schools were to enroll students
according to the results. Adult students needed to have the educational
equivalent of senior-middle-school graduates, and those applying for release or partial
release from work to study were to be under forty years of age. Staff members and workers were to apply to
study job-related subjects with review by and approval of their respective work units. If employers paid for the college courses,
the workers had to take entrance examinations. In 1985 colleges enrolled 33,000 employees
from various enterprises and companies, approximately 6 percent of the total college enrollment. In 1985 state quotas for university places
were set, allowing both for students sponsored by institutions and for those paying their
own expenses. This policy was a change from the previous
system in which all students were enrolled according to guidelines established in Beijing. All students except those at military school
or police academy, those who had financial difficulties, and those who were to work under
adverse conditions after graduation had to pay for their own tuition, accommodations,
and miscellaneous expenses.====Changes in enrollment and assignment
policies====The children enrollment and graduate assignment
system also was changed to reflect more closely the personnel needs of modernization. By 1986 the state was responsible for drafting
the enrollment plan, which took into account future personnel demands, the need to recruit
students from outlying regions, and the needs of trades and professions with adverse working
conditions. Moreover, a certain number of graduates to
be trained for the People’s Liberation Army were included in the state enrollment plan. In most cases, enrollment in higher education
institutions at the employers’ request was extended as a supplement to the state student
enrollment plan. Employers were to pay a percentage of training
fees, and students were to fulfill contractual obligations to the employers after graduation. The small number of students who attended
colleges and universities at their own expense could be enrolled in addition to those in
the state plan. Accompanying the changes in enrollment practices
were reforms (adopted 1986) in the faculty appointment system, which ended the “iron
rice bowl” employment system and permitted colleges and universities to decide which
academic departments, which academic majors, and how many teachers they needed. Teachers in institutions of higher learning
were hired on a basis, usually for two to four years at a time. The teaching positions available on basis
were teaching assistant, lecturer, associate professor, and professor. The system was tested in eight major universities
in Beijing and Shanghai before it was instituted nationwide at the end of 1985. University presidents headed groups in charge
of appointing professors, lecturers, and teaching assistants according to their academic levels
and teaching abilities, and a more rational wage system, geared to different job levels,
was inaugurated. Universities and colleges with surplus professors
and researchers were advised to grant them appropriate academic titles and encourage
them to work for their current pay in schools of higher learning where they were needed. The new system was to be extended to schools
of all kinds and other education departments within two years. Under the 1985 reforms, all graduates were
assigned jobs by the state; a central government placement agency told the schools where to
send graduates. By 1985 Tsinghua University and a few other
universities were experimenting with a system that allowed graduates to accept job offers
or to look for their own positions. For example, of 1,900 Tsinghua University
graduates in 1985, 1,200 went on to graduate school, 48 looked for their own jobs, and
the remainder were assigned jobs by the school after consultation with the students. The college students and postgraduates scheduled
to graduate in 1986 were assigned primarily to work in forestry, education, textiles,
and the armaments industry. Graduates still were needed in civil engineering,
computer science, and finance.====Scholarship and loan system====
In July 1986 the State Council announced that the stipend system for university and college
students would be replaced with a new scholarship and loan system. The new system, to be tested in selected institutions
during the 1986-87 academic year, was designed to help students who could not cover their
own living expenses but who studied hard, obeyed state laws, and observed discipline
codes. Students eligible for financial aid were to
apply to the schools and the China Industrial and Commercial Bank for low-interest loans. Three categories of students eligible for
aid were established: top students encouraged to attain all-around excellence; students
specializing in education, agriculture, forestry, sports, and marine navigation; and students
willing to work in poor, remote, and border regions or under harsh conditions, such as
in mining and engineering. In addition, free tuition and board were to
be offered at military school, and the graduates were required to join the army for at least
five years in relevant positions. For those who worked in an approved rural
position after graduation, student’s loans would be paid off by his or her employer,
such as a school, in a lump sum. And the money was to be repaid to the employer
by the student through five years of payroll deductions.====Study Abroad====
In addition to loans, another means of raising educational quality, particularly in science,
was to send students abroad to study. A large number of Chinese students studied
in the Soviet Union before educational links and other cooperative programs with the Soviet
Union were severed in the late 1950s (see Sino-Soviet split). In the 1960s and 1970s, China continued to
send a small number of students abroad, primarily to European universities. In October 1978 Chinese students began to
arrive in the United States; their numbers accelerated after normalization of relations
between the two countries in January 1979, a policy consistent with modernization needs. Although figures vary, more than 36,000 students,
including 7,000 self-supporting students (those who paid their own way, received scholarships
from host institutions, or received help from relatives and “foreign friends”), studied
in 14 countries between 1978 and 1984. Of this total, 78 percent were technical personnel
sent abroad for advanced study. As of mid-1986 there were 15,000 Chinese scholars
and graduates in American universities, compared with the total of 19,000 scholars sent between
1979 and 1983. Chinese students sent to the United States
generally were not typical undergraduates or graduate students but were mid-career scientists,
often thirty-five to forty-five years of age, seeking advanced training in their areas of
specialization. Often they were individuals of exceptional
ability who occupied responsible positions in Chinese universities and research institutions. Fewer than 15 percent of the earliest arrivals
were degree candidates. Nearly all the visiting scholars were in scientific
fields.===Educational investment===
Many of the problems that had hindered higher educational development in the past continued
in 1987. Funding remained a major problem because science
and technology study and research and study abroad were expensive. Because education was competing with other
modernization programs, capital was critically short. Another concern was whether or not the Chinese
economy was sufficiently advanced to make efficient use of the highly trained technical
personnel it planned to educate. For example, some observers believed that
it would be more realistic to train a literate work force of low-level technicians instead
of research scientists. Moreover, it was feared that using an examination
to recruit the most able students might advance people who were merely good at taking examinations. Educational reforms also made some people
uncomfortable by criticizing the traditional practice of rote memorization and promoting
innovative teaching and study methods. The prestige associated with higher education
caused a demand for it. But many qualified youths were unable to attend
colleges and universities because China could not finance enough university places for them. To help meet the demand and to educate a highly
trained, specialized work force, China established alternate forms of higher education – such
as spare-time, part-time, and radio and television universities. China could not afford a heavy investment,
either ideologically or financially, in the education of a few students. Since 1978 China’s leaders have modified the
policy of concentrating education resources at the university level, which, although designed
to facilitate modernization, conflicted directly with the party’s principles. The policies that produced an educated elite
also siphoned off resources that might have been used to accomplish the compulsory nine-year
education more speedily and to equalize educational opportunities in the city and the countryside. The policy of key schools has been modified
over the years. Nevertheless, China’s leaders believe an educated
elite is necessary to reach modernization goals. Corruption has been increasingly problematic
for rural schools. Because the educational funding is distributed
from the top down, each layer of bureaucracy has tended to siphon off more than its share
of funding, leaving too little for the bottom rural level. Families have had to cover for government
indifference by making personal investments in their children’s education. However the Chinese economy may not be able
to effectively absorb the resulting influx of college graduates, who may need to settle
for lower paying jobs, if they can find those.===Reform in the 21st century===In 1998 the Chinese government proposed to
expand university enrollment of professional and specialized graduates and to develop world
class universities. Restructuring, through consolidations, mergers
and shifts among the authorities which supervise institutions, was aimed at addressing the
problems of small size and low efficiency. Higher vocational education was also restructured,
and there was a general tendency there to emphasize elite institutions. This rapid expansion of mass higher education
has resulted in not only a strain in teaching resources but also in higher unemployment
rates among graduates. The creation of private universities, not
under governmental control, remains slow and its future uncertain. The restructuring of higher education, in
the words of one academic “has created a clearly escalating social stratification pattern among
institutions, stratified by geography, source of funding, administrative unit, as well as
by functional category (e.g., comprehensive, law, medical, etc.).” Thus, although recent reform has arguably
improved over-all educational quality, they have created new, different issues of equity
and efficiency that will need to be addressed as the century proceeds. In the spring 2007 China planned to conduct
a national evaluation of its universities. The results of this evaluation are used to
support the next major planned policy initiative. The last substantial national evaluation of
universities, which was undertaken in 1994, resulted in the ‘massification’ of higher
education as well as a renewed emphasis on elite institutions. Academics praised the fin du siècle reforms
for budging China’s higher education from a unified, centralized, closed and static
system into one characterized by more diversification, decentralization, openness and dynamism, stimulating
the involvement of local governments and other non-state sectors. At the same time they note that this decentralization
and marketization has led to further inequality in educational opportunity.Chinese policies
on College Entrance Examination have been influenced by the recruitment systems of western
countries and the traditional culture of imperial examinations. Since Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong
University started independent enrolment before College Entrance Examination in 2007, some
of the top Chinese colleges began to follow them using a new method to choose students
besides unified examination system. In accordance with university regulations,
those colleges appoint their own staff and are responsible for selecting students. Students can get admitted by taking a specific
exam or interview before the College Entrance Examination. In this way, students have more chance to
get admitted by the top colleges. In 2010, there were several critical reforms
in the education field. In January 31, the education ministry in Guangdong
province began to implement parallel voluntary admission in college entrance recruiting system,
which is an efficient way to decrease the risk of getting into a college for the majority
of students. In November 20, the education ministry of
China cancelled the additional Olympics points in College Entrance Exam policy. It is fairer for the high school students,
and efficiently reduces the heavy academic burdens for students. As the economic development of China, private
school system has been gradually built up. Many private preschools began to use bilingual
teaching. Furthermore, some public colleges and universities
cooperated with investors to run secondary college by using public running and being
sponsored by private enterprises, which promotes the development of education. On the other hand, the Technical and Vocational
Education in China has developed rapidly, and become the focus of the whole society. Nowadays, as the educational level of Chinese
has increased, getting into college is no longer a remarkable achievement among the
Chinese students. Instead, having a degree of an ordinary Chinese
university already can’t satisfy the increasingly competitive society. Chinese parents and students have begun to
place a high value on overseas education, especially at top American and European institutions
such as Harvard University, Oxford University, and Cambridge University, which are “revered”
among many middle-class parents. Since 1999, the number of Chinese applicants
to top schools overseas has increased tenfold. Much of the interest in overseas schools has
been attributed to the release of how-to parenting books such as Harvard Girl, which spawned
a “national obsession” with admissions to overseas schools. After 2005, the number of overseas students
from China not only showed a growth trend, but also presented a lowering trend of age. Some of the prestige of an American higher
education is the result of weaknesses in the PRC’s education system, which stifles creativity
in favor of rote memorization.As a result of the growing mismatch between university
degrees and job opportunities in China, university students are also increasingly undertaking
extracurricular educational training during their time in university. These include university clubs, volunteering
activities, and internships. Furthermore the Chinese state has promoted
entrepreneurship among university students by running business training, setting up “business
incubators” on campuses, and offering special benefits for student entrepreneurs. As a result of these development, university
life in China has become associated with various aspects of “self-development” in addition
to formal classroom learning.==Adult Education==
Adult education means the educational form that is different from the form of common
full-time education. Adult education is open to all ages and sexes. Through this educational process, the members
of the society who are regarded as adults will be able to increase their abilities,
enrich their knowledge, improve their skills and professional qualifications to change
the situation of the life.===The history of Adult Education===
In 1949, the common program formulated by the first session of the Chinese people’s
political consultative conference (CPPCC), clearly confirmed that China needed to put
emphasis on the education of the working class. It addressed the serious situation of illiteracy,
which was then more than 80 percent of the population. From 1949 to 1966, it was the beginning and
development period of adult education in new China. From 1966 to 1976, adult education could not
be carried out normally due to the impact of the ten-year “cultural revolution”. Since 1978, when China entered the new era
of modernization, adult education has been rapidly restored and developed.===Four Types of Adult Education===
With the development of the education system in China, the government gradually pay attention
to adult education and have four types of adult education: Adult college entrance examination,
higher education self-taught examination, open education and network education (distance
education).====Adult College Entrance Examination====
This is a regular form of adult education. There is only one exam every year, probably
in the middle of October. Classes are usually held on weeknights or
weekends.====Adult Self-taught Examination====
Adult self-taught exam faces all adult and does not need to provide a certificate of
formal schooling to be able to sign up. It only needs to have id card to register
in an institute of examination of education of each province to register during the regulation
period. Candidates can take the exam by studying various
subjects on their own or enroll in courses which are organized by universities or junior
colleges .====Open Education====
Compared with traditional academic education, it is a new teaching model that combines traditional
face-to-face teaching, textbook autonomous learning, and online real-time courses and
online classes.====Network Education====
Network education is taught through network course, study style is convenient, suit the
adults whose jobs are busy and do not have a fixed time to have a class. Enrollment time is relatively loose, divided
into spring and autumn admission. The examination time is quite many, every
month has the entrance examination.===The Aim of Adult Education===
The fundamental purpose of adult education is to expand educational opportunities, improve
national quality and “implement lifelong education”. The primary purpose of adult education is
to provide a second chance for those who are poor in society or who have lost access to
education for other reasons in order to achieve social justice and equal access to education. In the 1960s, the idea of “lifelong education”
was raised, and began the transition of Chinese education. Adult education begins focusing on the cultivation
of social responsibility to develop lifelong education theory.==Teachers==
In 1985, the government designated September 10 as Teachers’ Day, the first festival day
for any profession and indicative of government efforts to raise the social status and living
standards of teachers. The government has started the Nationwide
Program of Network for Education of Teachers to improve the quality of teaching. It aims to modernize teachers’ education through
educational information, providing support and services for lifelong learning through
the teachers’ education network, TV satellite network, and the Internet and to greatly improve
the teaching quality of elementary and high school faculty through large-scale, high-quality
and high-efficiency training and continuous education. As required by state law, local governments
are implementing teacher qualification systems and promoting in-service training for large
numbers of school principals, so as to further improve school management standards. Currently, in schools of higher learning,
professors and assistant professors account for 9.5 percent and 30 percent respectively. Young and middle-aged teachers predominate;
teachers under age 45 account for 79 percent of total faculty, and under age 35 for 46
percent. Teachers in higher education constitute a
vital contingent in scientific research, knowledge innovation and sci-tech. Of all academicians in the Chinese Academy
of Sciences, 40.7 percent (280) are in the higher education sector; for the Chinese Academy
of Engineering the corresponding figure is 35.3 percent (234). Among the most pressing problems facing education
reformers was the scarcity of qualified teachers, which has led to a serious stunting of educational
development. In 1986 there were about 8 million primary-
and middle-school teachers in China, but many lacked professional training. Estimates indicated that in order to meet
the goals of the Seventh Five-Year Plan and realize compulsory 9-year education, the system
needed 1 million new teachers for primary schools, 750,000 new teachers for junior middle
schools, and 300,000 new teachers for senior middle schools. Estimates predict, however, that the demand
for teachers will drop in the late 1990s because of an anticipated decrease in primary-school
enrollments. To cope with the shortage of qualified teachers,
the State Education Commission decreed in 1985 that senior-middle-school teachers should
be graduates with two years’ training in professional institutes and that primary-school teachers
should be graduates of secondary schools. To improve teacher quality, the commission
established full-time and part-time (the latter preferred because it was less costly) in-service
training programs. Primary-school and preschool in-service teacher
training programs devoted 84 percent of the time to subject teaching, 6 percent to pedagogy
and psychology, and 10 percent to teaching methods. In-service training for primary-school teachers
was designed to raise them to a level of approximately two years’ postsecondary study, with the goal
of qualifying most primary-school teachers by 1990. Secondary-school in-service teacher training
was based on a unified model, tailored to meet local conditions, and offered on a spare-time
basis. Ninety-five percent of its curricula was devoted
to subject teaching, 2 to 3 percent to pedagogy and psychology, and 2 to 3 percent to teaching
methods. There was no similar large-scale in-service
effort for technical and vocational teachers, most of whom worked for enterprises and local
authorities. By 1985 there were more than 1,000 teacher
training schools – an indispensable tool in the effort to solve the acute shortage of
qualified teachers. These schools, however, were unable to supply
the number of teachers needed to attain modernization goals through 1990. Although a considerable number of students
graduated as qualified teachers from institutions of Higher Learning, the relatively low social
status and salary levels of teachers hampered recruitment, and not all of the graduates
of teachers’ colleges became teachers. To attract more teachers, China tried to make
teaching a more desirable and respected profession. To this end, the government designated September
10 as Teachers’ Day, granted teachers pay raises, and made teachers’ colleges tuition
free. To further arrest the teacher shortage, in
1986 the central government sent teachers to underdeveloped regions to train local schoolteachers. Because urban teachers continued to earn more
than their rural counterparts and because academic standards in the countryside had
dropped, it remained difficult to recruit teachers for rural areas. Teachers in rural areas also had production
responsibilities for their plots of land, which took time from their teaching. Rural primary teachers needed to supplement
their pay by farming because most were paid by the relatively poor local communities rather
than by the state.==Adult and online education==The participation of big investors in online
education has made it a new hotspot for investment in the education industry. Students of remote and under-developed areas
are the biggest beneficiaries of online education, but online universities offer students who
failed university entrance examinations and working people the chance of lifelong education
and learning. The Ministry of Education has approved 68
ordinary schools of higher learning and the Central Radio and TV University to pilot modern
distance education. By the end of 2003, these schools had established
2,027 off-campus learning centers around China, offering 140 majors in ten disciplines, and
had a total enrollment of 1.373 million. The gradual spread of broadband technology
has also helped online education. The China Education and Research Network (CERNET),
started in 1994, is now China’s second largest Internet network, covering all major cities
of China. The high-speed connection between it and the
China Education Broadband Satellite Net, opened in 2000, established a “space to earth” transmission
platform for modern distance education, and provided an all-round network supporting environment
for distance education. Adult education is both dynamic and diverse. Schools of higher learning for adults include
radio and TV, worker, farmer, correspondence and evening universities, management and education
colleges; adult secondary schools include vocational, high and skills training schools;
worker elementary and farmer elementary schools comprise the adult elementary sector.===Role in modernization===
Because only 4 percent of the nation’s secondary education graduates are admitted to universities,
China has found it necessary to develop other ways of meeting the demand for education. Adult education has become increasingly important
in helping China meet its modernization goals. Adult, or “nonformal,” education is an alternative
form of higher education that encompasses radio, television, and correspondence universities,
spare-time and part-time universities, factory-run universities for staff and workers, and county-run
universities for peasants, many operating primarily during students’ off-work hours. These alternative forms of education are economical. They had sought to educate both the “delayed
generation” – those who lost educational opportunities during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76)
– and to raise the cultural, scientific, and general education levels of workers on the
Schools have been established by government departments, businesses, trade unions, academic
societies, democratic parties, and other organizations. In 1984 about 70 percent of China’s factories
and enterprises supported their own part-time classes, which often were referred to as workers’
colleges. In Beijing alone, more than ninety adult-education
schools with night schools enrolled tens of thousands of students. More than 20,000 of these students graduated
annually from evening universities, workers’ colleges, television universities, and correspondence
schools – more than twice the number graduating from regular colleges and universities. The government spent 200 yuan (¥) to ¥500
per adult education student and at least ¥1,000 per regular university student. In 1984 approximately 1.3 million students
enrolled in television, correspondence, and evening universities, about a 30 percent increase
over 1983. Spare-time education for workers and peasants
and literacy classes for the entire adult population were other components of basic
education. Spare-time education included a very broad
range of educational activities at all levels. Most spare-time schools were sponsored by
factories and run for their own workers; they provided fairly elementary education, as well
as courses to upgrade technical skills. Most were on-the-job training and retraining
courses, a normal part of any industrial system. These schools continually received publicity
in the domestic media as a symbol of social justice, but it was unclear whether they received
adequate resources to achieve this end. China’s educational television system began
in 1960 but was suspended during the Cultural Revolution in 1966. In 1979 the Central Radio and Television University
was established in Beijing with branches in twenty-eight provincial-level universities. Many Central Radio and Television University
students were recent senior-middle school graduates who scored just below the cut-off
point for admission to conventional colleges and universities. Full-time (who take four courses) and part-time
students (two courses) had at least two years’ work experience, and they return to their
jobs after graduation. Spare-time students (one course) studied after
work. Students whose work units granted them permission
to study in a television university were paid their normal wages; expenses for most of their
books and other educational materials were paid for by the state. A typical Central Radio and Television University
student spent up to six hours a day over a three-year period watching lectures on videotapes
produced by some of the best teachers in China. These lectures were augmented by face-to-face
tutoring by local instructors and approximately four hours of homework each evening. The major problem with the system is that
there were too few television sets. In 1987 the Central Television and Radio University
had its programs produced, transmitted and financed by the State Administration of Radio,
Film, and Television. The State Education Commission developed its
curriculum and distributed its printed support materials. Curriculum included both basic, general-purpose
courses in science and technology and more specialized courses. The Central Television and Radio University
offered more than 1,000 classes in Beijing and its suburbs and 14 majors in 2- to 3-year
courses through 56 working centers. Students who passed final examinations were
given certificates entitling them to the same level of remuneration as graduates of regular,
full-time colleges and universities. The state gave certain allowances to students
awaiting jobs during their training period.===Literacy and language reform===The continuing campaigns to eradicate illiteracy
also were a part of basic education. Chinese government statistics indicated that
of a total population of nearly 1.1 billion in 1985, about 230 million people were illiterate
or semiliterate. The difficulty of mastering written Chinese
makes raising the literacy rate particularly difficult. In general, language reform was intended to
make writing and the standard language easier to learn, which in turn would foster both
literacy and linguistic unity and serve as a foundation for a simpler written language. In 1951 the party issued a directive that
inaugurated a three-part plan for language reform. The plan sought to establish universal comprehension
of a standardized common language, simplify written characters, and introduce, where possible,
romanized forms based on the Latin alphabet. In 1956 Putonghua (Modern Standard Chinese)
was introduced as the language of instruction in schools and in the national broadcast media,
and by 1977 it was in use throughout China, particularly in the government and party,
and in education. Although in 1987 the government continued
to endorse the goal of universalizing putonghua, hundreds of regional and local dialects continued
to be spoken, complicating interregional communication. A second language reform required the simplification
of ideographs because ideographs with fewer strokes are easier to learn. In 1964 the Committee for Reforming the Chinese
Written Language released an official list of 2,238 simplified characters most basic
to the language. Simplification made literacy easier, although
some people (especially in Hong Kong which is still using traditional Chinese) taught
only in simplified characters were cut off from the wealth of Chinese literature written
in traditional characters. Any idea of replacing ideographic script with
romanized script was soon abandoned, however by government and education leaders. A third area of change involved the proposal
to use the pinyin romanization system more widely. Pinyin (first approved by the National People’s
Congress in 1958) was encouraged primarily to facilitate the spread of putonghua in regions
where other dialects and languages are spoken. By the mid-1980s, however, the use of pinyin
was not as widespread as the use of putonghua. Retaining literacy was as much a problem as
acquiring it, particularly among the rural population. Literacy rates declined between 1966 and 1976. Political disorder may have contributed to
the decline, but the basic problem was that the many Chinese ideographs can be mastered
only through rote learning and can be often forgotten because of disuse.==The role of ICT==
In 2010, the Government of China released its medium and long term national ICT in education
master plans, which stated explicitly that ICT would have a historic impact on the development
of education and called for a strong emphasis on ICT in education. In order to realize the scientific and orderly
development of ICT in education, China has developed a holistic and top-down approach. The Ten Year Development Plan for ICT in Education
2011-2020 was formalized in 2012. It states that by 2020, all adults will have
access to quality education resources in an ICT-enabling environment, an ICT support service
system for the learning society will take shape, and all regions and schools at all
levels will have broadband internet access.In order to considerably enhance Internet coverage
and transmission capacity, China has accelerated its drive to upgrade infrastructure, including
the China Education and Research Network (CERNet) and China Education Broadband Satellite (CEBSat),
which are the two main education networks.To enhance the impact of ICT in education and
teaching, China has placed a strong focus on developing quality digital educational
resources. In particular, China has launched the “one
teacher, one quality lesson, and one class one quality teacher” initiative, which has
led to the creation of quality digital teaching resources for 3.26 million teachers. In tandem, the Chinese Government has encouraged
higher education institutions to develop MOOCs, and private companies to develop basic digital
resources to supplement formal educational materials.To enhance the modernization of
education governance, China has promoted ICT in education administration through the establishment
of a national data centre and the implementation of the national service system for education
decision-making. China has also set up a national data centre
supporting the administration through a unique online identity number for each student, each
teacher, and each school.In effort to promote the widespread application of ICT in teaching,
China has carried out full-scale capacity training for teachers. China has launched a capacity improvement
project targeting primary and secondary school teachers’ capacity to use ICT, helping them
to integrate ICT into their teaching. ICT training for education administrators
has also been stepped up, so as to enhance their ICT leadership capability.==Criticism==
Although Shanghai and Hong Kong regularly perform highly in international assessments,
Chinese education has both native and international detractors; common areas of criticism include
its rigor; its emphasis on memorization and standardized testing; and the gap in quality
of education between students of rural and urban areas. Jonathan Kaiman of The Guardian writes that
Chinese parents and educators “see their own system as corrupt, dehumanising, pressurised
and unfair”; he went on to discuss the country’s college admission exam (called the gaokao),
writing that “many parents consider the gruelling nine-hour test a sorting mechanism that will
determine the trajectory of their children’s lives.” In The New York Times, Helen Gao called China’s
educational system “cutthroat” and wrote that its positive reputation among admirers is
largely built on a myth: While China has phenomenally expanded basic education for its people, quadrupling
its output of college graduates in the past decade, it has also created a system that
discriminates against its less wealthy and well-connected citizens, thwarting social
mobility at every step with bureaucratic and financial barriers. A huge gap in educational opportunities between
students from rural areas and those from cities is one of the main culprits. Some 60 million students in rural schools
are ‘left-behind’ children, cared for by their grandparents as their parents seek work in
faraway cities. While many of their urban peers attend schools
equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and well-trained teachers, rural students
often huddle in decrepit school buildings and struggle to grasp advanced subjects such
as English and chemistry amid a dearth of qualified instructors. ‘Rural students stand virtually no chance
when competing academically with their urban counterparts,’ Jiang Nengjie, a friend and
independent filmmaker who made a documentary on the left-behind children, told me. In The Chronicle of Higher Education, Lara
Farrar argued that the disabled are “shortchanged” in Chinese schools, with very little chance
of acceptance into higher educational institutions.==School uniforms==
Many schools in China require the use of a school uniform until college. Students have uniforms for both sportswear
and their daily uniform, both of which will change depending on the season. Uniforms can also differ in design depending
on the school, making it easy for people to identify which school a student attends. Proponents of school uniforms argue that the
uniforms are a unique form of culture, remove the pressure of students comparing clothing,
and allow the faculty and others to identify students and their respective schools. In an article for China Daily, Yuan Can states
that while student uniforms were previously regarded as a sign of progress, in current
society the uniform’s style is seen as more important by many students than a sense of
identity and belonging.==Rural education==Reflecting the fact that most of China’s population
live in the countryside, 95.2 percent of all elementary schools, 87.6 percent of junior
high schools and 71.5 percent of senior high schools are in rural areas, with 160 million
students at the compulsory education stage. The 1995-2000 “National Project of Compulsory
Education in Impoverished Areas” involved the allocation of 3.9 billion special funds
from the central finance and 10 billion yuan raised by local governments to improve schooling
conditions in impoverished areas. In 2004, various special funds allocated by
the central finance for compulsory education in rural areas reached 10 billion yuan, a
72.4 percent increase on the 2003 figure of 5.8 billion. The China Agricultural Broadcast and Television
School has nearly 3,000 branch schools and a teaching and administrative staff of 46,000. Using radio, television, satellite, network,
audio and video materials, it has trained over 100 million people in applicable agricultural
technologies and over 8 million persons for work in rural areas. After 20 years in development, it is the world’s
largest distance learning organ for rural education. In a Ministry of Education program covering
the next five years, the government will implement measures to realize its aims of nine-year
compulsory education in China’s western region and the basic elimination of young and middle-aged
illiteracy and the popularization of high level, high quality nine-year compulsory education
in east and central rural areas. At the same time, government is to promote
the development of modern distance learning for rural elementary and high schools, and
further improve rural compulsory education management systems.==Education for migrant children==
Following the large-scale movement of Chinese rural population to the cities the children
of these migrant workers either stay as left-behind children in the villages or they migrate with
their parents to the cities. Although regulations by the central government
stipulate that all migrant children have the right to attend a public school in the cities
public schools nevertheless effectively reject these children by setting high thresholds
such as school fees and exams or by requesting an urban registration (Hukou). Providing an alternative, private entrepreneurs
established since the 1990s semi-official private schools that offered schooling to
migrant children for lower fees. However, this system contributed to the segregation
between urban and migrant children. Furthermore, these schools often have a poor
teaching quality, provide only school certificates of limited value and sometimes even do not
comply with safety regulations. Since the beginning of the 2000s, some local
governments thus started campaigns to close these private schools but nevertheless in
many cities these schools still exist. Although Chinese scholars have conducted case-study
research on migrant children and their schools there is a lack in studies with a nationwide
scope.==Private education==
The government supports private educational organizations, as well as private for-profit
educational providers. The first “Law on Promotion of Private Education”
came into effect on September 1, 2003. Development of private schools means an increase
in overall education supply and a change in the traditional pattern of public-only schools,
so as to meet educational needs. At the end of 2004, there were more than 70,000
private schools of all types and level, with a total enrollment of 14.16 million, including
1,279 private institutes of higher learning, with a total enrollment of 1.81 million. Private schools have pioneered cooperation
with foreign partners in the running of schools and many foreign universities have entered
China this way, which has both improved the quality of China’s education resources and
opened new channels for students’ further studies.==Overseas students==
The number of foreigners wanting to study in China has been rising by approximately
20% annually since the reform and opening period began. According to official government figures 195,503
overseas students from 188 countries and regions came to study on the mainland in 2007 although
the number is believed to be somewhere around the 300,000 region, because the government’s
figures do not include students studying at private language schools. This makes China the world’s sixth-largest
study abroad destination. According to reports, South Korea, Japan,
The United States, Vietnam and Thailand were the five biggest source countries, and the
number of students from European source countries is increasing. Currently the Chinese government offers over
10,000 scholarships to foreign students, though this is set to rise by approximately 3,000
within the next year. International students are increasingly studying
in China. China’s economy is improving more quickly
than had been predicted, i.e. sizable economic growth by 2015 has been predicted as opposed
to 2050. China has already drawn the attention of the
West for its growth rates, and the 2008 Olympic Games and Shanghai Expo 2010 have intensified
this positive attention. Another factor that draws students to China
is the considerably lower cost of living in China compared to most western countries. Finally, major cities in China such as Beijing
and Shanghai already have a strong international presence. Currently China has around 1,000 colleges
and universities. Leading universities such as Peking University,
Tsinghua University, and Fudan University, have already gained international reputation
for outstanding teaching and research facilities. China has signed agreements with almost 40
countries such as France, Great Britain, the United States, Russia, etc., to recognize
select diplomas. Many Chinese universities such as United International
College now offer degrees in English enabling students with no knowledge of the Chinese
language to study there.==Gender equality==
Although gender inequality in the context of education has lessened considerably in
the last thirty years, the rapid economic growth China experienced during that time
created uneven growth across regions of the country. Language barriers among minority populations,
as well as drastic differences in regional laws governing school attendance, contribute
to the differing levels of gender equality in education. A 2010 statement by UNESCO stated that in
China it is “necessary to articulate a strategy to improve girls’ and women’s participation,
retention and achievement in education at all levels,” and that education should be
“seen as an instrument for the empowerment of women.”==
English education==China’s first contact with the English language
occurred between the Chinese and English traders, and the first missionary schools to teach
English were established in Macau in the 1630s. However, the emphasis of English education
only emerged after 1979 when the Cultural Revolution ended, China adopted the Open Door
Policy, and the United States and China established strong diplomatic ties. An estimate of the number of English speakers
in China is over 200 million and rising, with 50 million secondary schoolchildren now studying
the language.In China, most schoolchildren are taught their first English lesson at the
age of 10. Despite the early learning of English, there
is widespread criticism of the teaching and learning of the language. Schools in China are evaluated and financed
based on test results. This causes teaching to be geared towards
the skills tested. Students focus on rote-memorization (written
and oral repetition) as the main learning strategy. These methods, which fit very well with the
Chinese way of learning, have been criticized as fundamentally flawed by Western educationalists
and linguists. Furthermore, newly learned words are seldom
put into use. This arises because everyone in China communicates
through Mandarin or a regional Chinese dialect, and English is perceived to be of little use
in the country. This has been further reinforced through the
national Band 4 examination where 80% of the test is the writing component, 20% is devoted
to listening, and speaking is excluded entirely. According to a national survey, only half
of the teachers consider that vocabulary should be learned through conversation or communication. A far smaller percentage support activities
such as role playing or vocabulary games.According to research completed by The Telegraph in
2017, less than 1 percent of people in China speak English conversationally.==See also

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