Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Reality of Chinese Schools-90% of Teachers Unqualified, Why Am I not Surprised

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 9, 2011


Many foreigners have no idea of the reality of Chinese schools. They read a report about some school in Shanghai knocking the top off some middle school test results and think it portends to the rise of China. They do not, however, understand the reality of education China.

In China, the difference between the haves and have nots is huge, think of a situation such as Zimbabwe or Bolivia and you can imagine what it is like in China. Thus, the rich go to the best scools with good foreign teachers. The rich must, however, just as my colleauge recently did, pay around 200,000 RMB or U$30,000 as a bribe for her child to enter a good grade school here. The grade school is reputed to be one of the best so her child will be ok.

Now lets imagine the case of the typical Chinaman who makes around U$400 per month. This is the average wage for all Chinese. This person cannot afford the bribe that my colleague can pay and thus is disadvantaged in that respect. In addition, it is well known that the best schools tend to cluster around Beijing and Shanghai. And the farther one is from these areas, the worse the schools are. I am not talking about poor schools like in the Appalachians back home, I am talking about schools like we had in the 1880’s. I have visited many villages here and you would be shocked to see what a typical school in China is like. So, to think that a solitary school in Beijing or Shanghai is representitive is absurd. The Chinese, due to face and the fact they don’t wish to seem ignorant, will not report the scores of areas such as Xinjiang, Gansu or others. My best friend here hails from Chongqing and her family has shipped their kids to Chongqing as they say the education in Xinjiang is putrid, and CQ (Chongqing is not much better- but every little bit helps).

Thus, the news below is no shock to me. The chinadialy reports that 90% of teachers in a specific province or state in China are not qualified to teach… Yeah, that is like saying that in a state like Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts, 90% of all teachers are not qualified to teach….WTF

I guess in a country where 90% of the people are not qualified to make laws, to manage a business nor to govern a country, I should not be surprised.

excerpt chinadaily.
“BEIJING – Parents are questioning the professionalism of kindergarten teachers after it emerged that more than 90 percent of childcare workers in Jiangsu province are unlicensed. Chen Lingfu, vice-president of Nanjing Normal University…released the figure during a speech he made on Wednesday”

One Response to “Reality of Chinese Schools-90% of Teachers Unqualified, Why Am I not Surprised”

  1. Gowron said

    To quote my step brother, in reference to the Cangzhou Vocational College. (CVC….

    “Dis is VERY VERY ‘Spechall” school”. The students at the CVC, spent their days wandering the campus aimlessly, and studying “surveying”, or “machining”. Aka taking a dump in the dorm-hotel’s squat toliet, and leaving an aroma of ciggerate scented “mess” (which smells like hairspray); and playing “basketball”.

    I saw little feral children (well just neighborhood kids), gamboling in the garbages, or running around in the neighborhood, during the day. (like don’t these kids go to school?). The schools themselves… well I’m looking at getting my baby sister out of here, so she can study at a school with playgrounds and things that wont’ harm her, like piles of garbage, getting hit by a car as there are no sidewalks.

    It’s very common for the average Chinese to not have progress beyond Grade 9.

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