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Video: A day in the life of a Chinese child

03-04-2011 20:34 BJT

 

Chinese parents strive to raise children destined for academic excellence, musical mastery and professional success. The hunt for the highest grades dominates both the home and the classroom. But does tough love really work? Or should there be a more balanced approach? Zhang Nini follows one Beijing child to find out. 

Nine year old Jia Zixing begins a typical day at school. The third grade student has yet to feel the pressure of middle school entrance exams, and her self-esteem hasn't been dented by peer pressure.

Jia Zixing, Third Year Student, said, "I love maths. I am the only one in class who can multiply two four-digit numbers."

In the Second Shiyan Primary School, students like Jia Zixing are encouraged to develop creative intelligence rather than just learning to remember information and facts. Classes and activities aim to give students more hands-on experience and inspire them to dream up new ideas.

He Jianwen, Teacher of 2nd Shiyan Primary School, Beijing, said, "During winter vacation, we give students a task called 'Little Question Mark'. One student learned that when flushing toilets, bacteria spreads with the flow of water. So he design a toilet which automatically closes the lid when flushing, using science and math knowledge."

Afternoon lessons ends with a PE class, where students gather outdoors to stretch their limbs before heading home. Then, Jia Zixing will spend another hour finishing her homework.

And her parents are in no rush to jeopardize Jia's childhood by cramming too many classes into her spare time.

Liu Ying, Jia Zixing's mother, said, "Many of my friends' kids don't rest, even on weekends, as they have so many classes to go to. I used to have the same opinion. But after thinking about it, I decided having a carefree childhood, and not feeling pressured is more important for her now."

Liu believes it's important to respect her daughter's individuality. But she's not afraid of scolding her daughter if things go wrong. After all, a bit of tough love can't hurt the bigger picture, and will foster an inner confidence that no one can take away.

 

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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