As the Chinese Labor Day holiday draws to a close, millions of people across China are returning home from their travels. However, one viral video online has sparked a nationwide debate about the burden of education in the country. The video shows children on a train diligently doing their homework, prompting concerns about the amount of homework given by schools and the responsibility of parents.
The video, shared on Chinese social media, shows students using their backpacks as a desk or writing in their textbooks on the back of train seats. While some netizens praised their dedication to their studies, others criticized it as a bad habit that could negatively impact their learning and growth due to the noisy and uncomfortable environment.
Excessive homework and pressure from extracurricular education is a hot topic in China, a country known for its high level of education. The Chinese education authorities have been making efforts to reform the education system by prohibiting profit-driven extracurricular education and providing guidelines for school courses. In July 2021, they launched the “Double Reduction” policy to alleviate the burden of homework and extracurricular education on compulsory education students. The policy prohibits the establishment of new extracurricular education institutions for elementary and middle school students, and prohibits after-school tutoring during weekends, holidays, and vacations. Teachers are also not allowed to give repetitive or punitive homework.
The policy has already had a significant impact, with more than 80% of extracurricular education institutions closed down after its implementation. The remaining institutions had to transform into non-profit organizations, indicating a shrinking market. However, some people argue that the wealthy class in China is already forming an underground market for private tutoring, exacerbating the polarization in education.
Despite the government’s efforts, the debate about the burden of education continues. Some argue that the government needs to do more to ensure that all students have equal access to education opportunities without being pressured by excessive academic demands. Others believe that parents also need to take responsibility and not place undue pressure on their children to succeed.
In conclusion, while the Chinese government is making efforts to alleviate the burden of homework and extracurricular education, there is still a long way to go to ensure that all students have equal access to education opportunities without being pressured by excessive academic demands. The debate over the responsibility of the government and parents will undoubtedly continue as China strives to provide its students with the best education possible.