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Is education China's top economic risk? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-11-21 11:22:25 |Display all floors
(Bloomberg) A widely held view in the West is that China's schools are brimming with math and science whizzes, just the kind of students that companies of the future will need. But this is misleading: For years, headline-grabbing studies showing China's prowess on standardized tests evaluated only kids in rich and unrepresentative areas. When its broader population was included, China's ranking dropped across all subject areas.

Official data bears out this dynamic. According to the 2010 census, less than 9 percent of Chinese had attended school beyond the secondary level. More than 65 percent had gone no further than junior high. From 2008 to 2016, China's total number of graduate students actually decreased by 1 percent. Outside the richest areas, much of China's population lacks even the basic skills required in a high-income economy.

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Post time 2017-11-21 11:23:03 |Display all floors
Making matters worse are the millions of children in rural areas who are being raised by their extended families. With their parents working in faraway cities, these children tend to fare much worse in school and on IQ tests. Stanford economist Scott Rozelle has referred to this as an "invisible crisis" in the making: In the coming decades, he estimates, some 400 million underprepared Chinese could be looking for work. His research has touched such a nerve that even state media has given it serious coverage.

At the moment, it's easy to overlook these problems. Official unemployment remains low and stable. Wages are rising and the middle class is expanding. China's factories still rank among the world's best, and its workers broadly have the skills they need to support themselves.

Yet with demographic and technological changes accelerating, the education gap will soon loom large. As wages rise, Chinese manufacturers will face growing competition from less-developed countries. As automation improves, factories will need workers with more and better education. And as older industries are disrupted, employers will demand new skill sets.

China -- like many countries -- isn't prepared for these changes. Sustaining an advanced, service-based economy isn't possible when only 25 percent of the working-age population has a high-school degree. In every country that made the jump from middle-income to high-income over the past 70 years, Rozelle found, at least 75 percent of the working-age population had a high school degree before the transition began. Even China's elite schools can't drive economic development for 1.4 billion people.

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Post time 2017-11-21 11:24:03 |Display all floors
Raising the level of education more broadly will require both investment and reform.

Most countries would benefit from investing more in education. But in China, the need is especially acute: Even in prosperous urban centers, classrooms are commonly crammed with 50 students apiece, forcing much of the actual work of education onto frustrated parents. That's a recipe for failure.

Another priority should be overhauling the so-called hukou system of household registration. The reason so many children are being raised by their grandparents in rural areas is because they're restricted from accessing public services -- including schools -- in the cities where their parents work. Yet it's significantly easier to offer a quality education in urban centers than in far-flung villages. And with apartment vacancy rates above 20 percent in many cities, it would be both a humane and economically sound policy to end these restrictions.

A final goal should be reforming curriculums. China is famous for requiring rote memorization of its students. But schools are also increasing classwork on communist ideology, Confucian thought and even Traditional Chinese Medicine. The emphasis should instead be on skills -- such as creativity and unstructured problem-solving -- that will help drive entrepreneurship and innovation, and ensure that students can compete in a world of robots and drones.

Although other countries will face many of these problems in the years ahead, China is starting with some especially severe handicaps. Xi may be right that China's people are resilient and creative enough to achieve his goals. But the journey will be a rocky one.

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Post time 2017-11-21 18:02:07 |Display all floors
ceciliazhang Post time: 2017-11-21 11:24
Raising the level of education more broadly will require both investment and reform.

Most countries ...
Another priority should be overhauling the so-called hukou system of household registration. The reason so many children are being raised by their grandparents in rural areas is because they're restricted from accessing public services -- including schools -- in the cities where their parents work. Yet it's significantly easier to offer a quality education in urban centers than in far-flung villages. And with apartment vacancy rates above 20 percent in many cities, it would be both a humane and economically sound policy to end these restrictions.

False. It's too expensive to offer a quality education in urban centers because real-estate prices are sky-high. China should instead promote quality education in rural villages using online education for distance learning. That is far easier and cheaper to implement than building more expensive schools in overcrowded cities because online education requires only access to the Internet using tablets which should be funded by the government.

A final goal should be reforming curriculums. China is famous for requiring rote memorization of its students. But schools are also increasing classwork on communist ideology, Confucian thought and even Traditional Chinese Medicine. The emphasis should instead be on skills -- such as creativity and unstructured problem-solving -- that will help drive entrepreneurship and innovation, and ensure that students can compete in a world of robots and drones.

False. China does NOT need Western Liberal ideas which promote selfish individualism, amoral hedonism and material decadence. Instead, China should reinstate learning in the Modern Socialist version of Classical Chinese Culture based on Confucian Socialism, Buddhist Communism and Taoist Spiritualism by emphasizing duty to the State, loyalty to the Nation and compassion to the People so that Chinese citizens can live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature.

Creativity and unstructured problem-solving? NON-SENSE. The modern hi-tech Internet economies of the 21st century requires mastery of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines in order to develop TECHNICAL skills such as quantitive analysis, qualitative synthesis and STRUCTURED problem-solving. This Western liberal non-sense emphasizing so-called creativity and unstructured problem-solving is good for drug-addicted rock-stars but not for highly-disciplined, highly-organized, highly-systematic STEM occupations such as VLSI microprocessor architects, AI data scientists, biotech R&D researchers, etc.



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Post time 2017-11-21 20:55:39 |Display all floors
LSI microprocessor architects, AI data scientists, biotech R&D researchers


China needs education system that creates spiritual and intellectual prosperity for hundreds of millions of people who will not have jobs anywhere close to such careers.

China will need more and better caretakers for the elderly and farmers who could enjoy their life while farming, more than any of those scientists and engineers. Of course the education for the intellectual elite should constantly improve, but they are marginal group in this population.

In fact, I argue that what China really will need ARE "rock stars" of one kind or another. China needs bread and games for the mob, or there will be another peasant revolution.

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Post time 2017-11-21 20:59:46 |Display all floors
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Post time 2017-11-21 23:54:58 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2017-11-21 05:02
False. It's too expensive to offer a quality education in urban centers because real-estate price ...

A successful society must find the appropriate balance between the individualism of the liberals and the collectivism you value. Without individualism, progress is slowed. Without collectivism, society is unjust and chaotic. Both qualities are essential.
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