Archive for the Education Category

Beijing hosts First World Congress on Marxism [Global Times]

Posted in Beijing, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Education, Marx, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics on February 8, 2016 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Zhang Hui
Published: 2015-10-12

*** Ideology to help China through social, economic challenges: analysts ***

China attaches great importance to the …first World Congress on Marxism in Beijing in solving its growing social and economic problems during the transition period, and the event offered a chance for China to spread Marxist ideology, observers said on Sunday.

As the biggest academic conference on Marxism held in China, the congress, “Marxism and the Development of the Human Race,” attracted more than 400 Marxist scholars from 20 countries.

The discussions center on China’s development path, theories and systems, together with the worldwide influence exerted by Marxism to promote human development, the Guangming Daily reported on Sunday.

Observers said that the congress helped address China’s concerns during a critical transition.

“China faces an increasing number of problems in the midst of its economic slowdown and deepening reform, such as corruption and the growing income gap, which require the country to use Marxism to explain and solve them,” Xin Xiangyang, a research fellow on Marxism at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

The congress also provided an opportunity for Western countries to learn from China, as China’s adherence to Marxism for decades has made huge headway in both social and economic development, while the Western world has not fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, Xin said.

Observers said that since President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of Marxist ideology, there has been a resurgence of the ideology as the theoretical foundation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in China.

President Xi said in January that Marxist philosophy provides CPC members with the right approach to problem-solving, as China continues its path of reform and development.

He stressed several times “sinicization” and modernization of Marxism in his speeches since 2013.

However, China still faces challenges in adopting Marxism.

China has not reached a level of “common prosperity” as stated in Marxist thought. Corruption still exists, while Marxism has called for clean government, Wang Zhanyang, director of the Political Science Department at the Central Institute of Socialism, told the Global Times.

Peking University, sponsor of the congress, has attached increasing importance to Marxism.

It held a foundation-laying ceremony in May for a building named after German philosopher Karl Marx, to celebrate his 197th birth anniversary.

Edited by Zuo Shou. Original article title: “Beijing hosts 1st Marxism congress”

Full article link: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/946549.shtml

See also related article from event host Peking University website, link: http://english.pku.edu.cn/news_events/news/global/3979.htm

Row over ‘Western values’[People’s Daily]

Posted in China, CPC, Education, Reform and opening up on March 30, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

from Global Times

Feb 2, 2015

Minister’s ideology criticism sparks discussion

Remarks made by China’s education minister in which he encouraged universities to “never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes” have aroused discussion among the public, with many people criticizing his comments.

Education Minister Yuan Guiren made the remarks on Thursday at a forum in Beijing on improving ideological work in universities and colleges, urging universities to reinforce their ideological management, especially when it relates to textbooks, teaching materials and class lectures.

He told university officials to strengthen their management of the use of textbooks and materials directly imported from Western countries.

Also, the minister said remarks that slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), smear socialism or violate the country’s Constitution and laws must never be promoted in college classrooms.

Many Chinese netizens have criticized Yuan’s remarks while some observers claimed that such criticism was generated by confusion and misunderstanding of the meaning of the phrase “Western values.”

“The ‘Western values’ in Yuan’s speech refer to Western political values and ideologies which were introduced into the country after China’s opening-up but cannot fit the country’s reality,” Yin Yungong, an expert on the socialist system at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Yin added that China needs to learn advanced technologies and other useful ideas from Western countries. But some values and ideologies, such as “universal values” should be excluded from classes as they may jeopardize China’s political system and cause instability, Yin argued…

Excerpted; full article link: http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0202/c90882-8844564.html

Chinese opt to study, but not stay, in US: report [China Daily]

Posted in Beijing, China, China-US relations, Education, Employment, India, Shanghai, south Korea, USA on November 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By JACK FREIFELDER in New York (China Daily USA)

China remains by far the largest source country for foreign students coming to the US for higher education, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

From 2008 to 2012, more than 1.1 million foreign students attended school in the US, and China comprised the largest portion of that group, with 285,000 students entering the US with F-1 student visas, showed the new study The Geography of Foreign Students in US Higher Education: Origins and Destinations on Aug 29.

During that time foreign students studying in the US contributed more than $21 billion in tuition and close to $13 billion in living costs to the American economy. But just 45 percent of these students extended their visas after graduation and got jobs in the US.

“Chinese students are coming to the US to study in fields that are highly sought out, and to get the skills to compete in this global economy,” Neil G. Ruiz, an associate fellow at the Brookings, who wrote the new study, told China Daily.

“China is special because the numbers are so large, but a lot of foreign students are coming from the newly-emerging cities in China, like Nanjing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, etc,” Ruiz said, “so Beijing and Shanghai are not the only cities that these students are coming from because of the high demand for an American education.”

The report shows that two-thirds of foreign students are studying in “STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) or business, management and marketing fields,” compared to 48 percent of their US counterparts…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2014-09/01/content_18525887.htm

Plan to remove English test from Chinese high schoolers’ “gaokao” college entrance exam draws concern [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Education, English-Chinese on May 26, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

China Daily

May 19, 2014

A proposal to remove the English-language test from the gaokao, the national college entrance exam, has triggered heated debate among parents and experts.

The move is aimed at easing students’ burden while promoting practical language-learning methods. Gaokao to tilt to traditional culture testing

To improve exam-oriented education, the Ministry of Education released a reform proposal for the gaokao in 2013. This included the plan to exclude English as a mandatory subject in the exam, with students urged to take a third-party English assessment for university admissions…

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/8630148.html

Original article title in People’s Daily: ‘Plan to ditch English test draws concern’

School tests in China blamed for suicides [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Education on May 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Zhao Xinying (China Daily)

May 14, 2014

= Pressure of exam-based system leads teens to kill themselves, report says =

The test-oriented educational system is the cause of many suicides among elementary and middle school students in China, an education report said on Tuesday.

According to the Annual Report on China’s Education (2014), or the Blue Book of Education, released on Tuesday, most of the teenagers who killed themselves are in middle school, and they did so mainly because they could not bear the heavy pressure of the test-oriented education system.

The blue book was released by the 21st Century Education Research Institute, a nonprofit education research organization composed of educational professors and experts. Teenage suicides have raised concern among people after dozens of such cases were reported in 2013.

On Jan 11, 2013, a middle school student in Hohhot, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, jumped from the top of a building after learning that his score in a recent test dropped.

On May 2, a 13-year-old boy in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, hanged himself at home after he failed to finish his homework.

A girl in Sichuan province killed herself by cutting her wrist and taking poison on June 22 after the college entrance exam results were released, as she knew that she couldn’t be admitted into a university with her scores.

Cheng Pingyuan, a professor of Nanjing Normal University and the leader of the study, said in the blue book that most of the teenagers killed themselves because of pressure.

Analyzing 79 cases of primary and middle school student suicides in 2013, Cheng found that 92.7 percent of them did so after arguing with their teachers or having lived under the heavy pressure of study.

“The pursuit of high test scores not only brings pressure to students, but also to teachers, making the relationship between teachers and students worse, especially when students perform poorly in exams, which finally leads to some students’ suicides,” he said in the blue book…

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/203691/8626288.html

Original article title: “School tests blamed for suicides”

“A critique of top US schools” – The absurd Chinese obsession with Ivy League universities [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Education, USA on March 28, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

China Daily

March 20, 2014

When I ask my Chinese friends which American cities they know about, most name the big cities in the east cost such as New York City, Chicago and Boston. Because of their limited knowledge about the United States, talking to parents of students can be a frustrating experience. They typically think that since their children are at the top of the high school class, they should attend schools like Harvard, Yale, New York University or other top institutions.

I consider this a huge problem for Chinese education. It’s time Chinese families and companies changed their views on the subject.

Chinese students can thrive in smaller American universities for several reasons. First, they won’t be just a number in smaller universities. I earned my bachelor’s degree from a highly reputable university. It was a great experience, but none of the professors knew my name and some of my classes had more than 200 students. Such universities can easily leave a Chinese student without motivation and could also prevent him/her from attending classes.

Second, Chinese students can focus more on education in smaller universities. Big universities are like big cities – they have bigger distractions. Chinese students, like their counterparts anywhere else in the world, want to have fun, and without pressure from their families who’s going to stop them from going astray?

Third, Chinese students will find it difficult to be part of a new culture in big cities. Big cities have many people of Chinese descent, which one might think is good, but it is actually the opposite. If Chinese students find their fellow countrymen they may shy away from foreigners, which means their English language skills and studies will suffer. I’ve met many Chinese who have terrible English skills despite having studied abroad.

Fourth, Chinese students will find real peace in small American cities, which are unlike those in China. They have everything a student needs. Besides, many of the small towns are beautiful and could be Chinese students’ only opportunity to experience the tranquility and peace of a sparsely populated place.

And finally, by sending their children to smaller universities parents can save a lot of money without compromising on their education or experience. Everything will be cheaper and Chinese students can find wonderful jobs in small cities .

Chinese parents seem to believe in the idea that you should do what other people do or want you to do. But if you are a parent reading this, I challenge you to be different.

(Editor:GaoYinan、Yao Chun)

Article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/203691/8572062.html

Xinhua Insight: CPC campaigns to restore moral compass [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Chinese TV program, Corruption, Economy, Education on March 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I’m skeptical that primary school students and teachers bowing to each other constitutes educating the students about ‘core socialist values’…it seems Confucianist/Neo-Confucianist – Zuo Shou

BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) — Students of Tsinghua University Primary School in Beijing know all about China’s drive to improve its citizens’ etiquette as they get used to a new requirement to bow when meeting teachers and parents on campus.

The prestigious school enforced the rule to answer government calls to educate children with a set of moral principles, namely “core socialist values.” This doctrine has been encouraged by the Communist Party of China (CPC) since its 18th Party Congress in November 2012, but the campaign has ramped up this week since a renewing address by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On Monday morning, the first day of the school semester, a ceremony was held in the biting cold of the playground. More than 1,600 students in uniform bowed to teachers simultaneously and the latter responded in kind.

“Core socialist values include patriotism and friendship. We help our children start with bowing, a practice to show respect and one that is valued by our traditional culture,” Principal Dou Guimei told local media.

The move epitomized a nationwide campaign to rebuild faith amid concerns that the world’s second-largest economy has to some extent lost its moral compass, a price paid for its three-decade economic miracle.

A “moral vacuum” has been perceived in private and public life, exemplified by pervasive money worship and extreme individualism, as well as endless scandals concerning corruption, food safety and environmental pollution.

In addition, a spate of violence and molestation against children, with some cases perpetrated by teachers and public servants, has prompted rounds of soul-searching among the public.

The latest instruction on reclaiming the moral high ground was delivered by Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on Monday, when he called for greater efforts to set up a socialist value system with Chinese characteristics in line with a new era.

The 18th Party Congress specified core socialist values as prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship.

In December, the CPC issued a detailed guideline on bolstering these values, ordering them to be incorporated into the school curriculum, urging media to spread moral righteousness and prodding Party members and officials to take the lead in practicing the principles.

The targets of the guideline have sprung into action. For example, TV stations across China have devoted considerably more air time to public service advertisements and broadcasts championing social values. Local governments have moved to reward Good Samaritans to inspire more good deeds.

Moreover, the ruling party has beefed up its anti-corruption campaign, vowing to crack down on both high-ranking and low-level corrupt officials — “tigers” and “flies,” as Xi put it…

Editor: An

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-02/21/c_133133694.htm
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Also see related article: “China Focus: China trumpets ‘core socialist values’ amid moral decline [Xinhua] – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-02/17/c_133121953.htm