Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Improving Quality Education…- or Well Just Forget That

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 13, 2009


This is rich. Under the auspices of closing some gap in opportunities in chinese education, the government in  connection with Peking University has implemented a new master plan. It purports to start a ” a pilot program aimed at improving the country’s university entrance system.”

The article from the China Daily states that under the new and improved system, Headmasters of schools (Principals) have the ability to recommend students to study at University of Peking, without taking entrance exams, but just on the word of the school headmaster! And this will improve education how…(just to explain, entry into Chinese universities is fierce, the parents begin preparing them from the age of 4 or so. They are taught special skills all in the hopes of being able to attend Tshinghua, PKU, or Remnin University).

Not to belittle the country, but I have a few observations. One is that entrance exams are set up to ensure that the most intellectually talented actually enter the top-notch schools.  Schmidt, Hunter and Ones, have campaigned about the veracity of using such measures. In the states we have taken to using other factors that supposedly narrow some gaps that exist in entrance procedures, but just allowing students to waltz in all on the word of a high school principal, doesn’t makes sense even in an alternate universe. At least some schools would say they are attempting to narrow some divide in minority groups, but China already gives ten points to all minorities in college entrance exams-this doesn’t add up.  I get the premise but just have to shake my head about this one.

In a country so rife with corruption, doesnt this seem to be actually taking that to the next level, as if to say ‘hey we don’t really need to hide this anymore, we will do things our way’.

The really sad part of this is my second point and that is that this type of sponsorship by some supposed expert just does not work in this country. It actually reminds me of the milk scandal just around the time of the olympics. The company that produced the tainted milk, Sanlu Group, was actually on a list of ‘trusted companies’ that didn’t have to undergo quality inspections as other ‘less trusted’ companies did. Let me reiterate, Sanlu Group, the company that produced toxic milk was freed from that pesky need to be subjected to routine tests for product quality as it was put on a governmental list of most trusted companies. See hwere I am going here…

Tests, rules, regulations serve a purpose, we don’t always care for them, but as we have learned or should have learned with Sanlu, they are a necessary evil. I just wonder what the situation will be in academia here if this sort of thing will be allowed to continue.

4 Responses to “Improving Quality Education…- or Well Just Forget That”

  1. Blonde Johnny said

    That is all we need, a zillion more of them fighting with us for jobs, not even a real degree.

  2. Barack "The bomber" Obama said

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  3. On Wednesday I returned from living 1 year in China. My picture diary:
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  4. On Wednesday I returned from a year of living in China. My picture diary:
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