Thursday, February 19, 2009

School Days

I've heard plenty of horror stories about teaching in China. While I was a bit miserable at my first school here, it pales in comparison to the two in the news.

The first case is of a 15-year-old girl who is being told to leave her school because she's too fat. Judging by the name of the institution, it is most likely a private school that focuses on money and student/parent satisfaction rather than actual education and discipline. There's no mention of other fat students at the school (I saw plenty when I taught in a private school). Maybe next year the school will post a notice that reads, "No fat chicks!"

The second portrays the pressure on university students in China. A student was kicked out of university for poor grades (not uncommon in the better universities around China), and further shamed by his father. So, he tried to kill the first teacher he came across and then attempted suicide. Fortunately, he also failed at murder and suicide.


Stuart said...

The second story might have happened anywhere, but the first story is unfortunate.

Please tell me there are Chinese people who believe that individual human beings have rights and value and merit. I want to believe.

Don Tai said...

Wow, I didn't think you could get kicked out of university in China. That student at Beijing University of Technology must have tried really, really, really hard to fail. Usually you need to get caught gambling or kill someone to get kicked out.

Once you get into university in China you can pretty much slack off. There's also rampant plagiarism during exams, and even if you fail an exam you can get a makeup exam.

Beijing University of Technology must be picking from the bottom of the barrel to get such a student. Maybe besides taking cold hard cash from the parents they should also administer a psychological test as an entry requirement. I sense the entry level requirement has been set more to enhance the university's finances rather than to select and educate students with potential and talent. Welcome to the new China.