China. Education

Education and schooling throughout the world have given millions of students’ a greater chance at success. Among the hundreds of different education systems throughout the world, China’s are far superior. Students have a wide range of knowledge, and with great knowledge, comes great opportunity.

According to the CIA Fact Book, literacy rates rose by 15% in the past 10 years. For Chinese children and their devoted parents, education has long been seen as the key to getting ahead in a highly competitive society. Education in not only encouraged; it is a way of life. The highly developed education systems in China give students a significant advantage in a globalized economy because of their cultural views, a wide variety of studied subjects, and the competitive nature of society. Culture in China is a huge factor contributing to the education of their students.

A big part of their culture is wealth. Although the cost of education in China is negligible by Western standards, when you consider the country's GDP and the average national income, it weighs in as the most expensive educational system in the world (teaching in China). Parents pay large sums of money to give their child an edge at government run schools. These educational costs represent up to 60 percent of their annual household income on primary, secondary, and high school schooling second only to their food budget compared to 18 percent in the U.S. (Chinese Education for a Price).

The Chinese government has invested highly in their education systems, and in 1986, 16.8 percent of the state budget was earmarked for education, compared with 10.4 percent in 1984 (Chinese Education for a Price). This common drive to make education a primary focus between the people, and the government has given China a unique advantage in driving the potential of Chinese students. The Chinese government initiated an aggressive and experimental policy in 1979, requiring that urban families limit themselves to one child each (China’s One-Child Policy Comes of Age).

The purpose of the initiative, was to help the country leapfrog from a Third-World economy into the First-World economy by mimicking First-World education patterns (China’s One-Child Policy Comes of Age). The one child policy in china also greatly contributes to the advantages of students. It has strengthened the emphasis upon education for young children and the family's strong investment in their only child (Precious Children).

When all resources are funneled into one child, it receives more attention, therefore, getting a better quality education. Respect is one of China’s most revered parts of culture. In China, it is said that the three most important persons in your life are your mother because she gave you birth; your father because he guides your upbringing and prosperity; and your teacher because a teacher nurtures your mind (Cultural Attitudes Towards Learning). Children in primary school know from a very young age that they are expected to do their best to secure a complete education with the highest marks possible. With the law of "one family, one child", this responsibility becomes more pronounced (Cultural Attitudes Towards Learning).

From as early as first and second grade, they are taught that school is important and they must do their absolute best. In classrooms of forty to seventy-two students each, a child learns quickly that one’s education is one’s own responsibility, and that teachers admire those who work more diligently (Statistics On Chinese Universities). The current curriculum of Chinese schools have been optimized over the last 30 years by selecting the best elements of western society’s education system and integrating them into a single and unique process (Konstantinos Athanasios Kountroubis).

Children, from ages 3 to 6, are expected to undergo full-day schooling programs (Precious Children). Unlike the U.S, where Children aren't in a full day of school until the age of 6, children in China devote 90% of their childhood in schools, and focus upon multiple subject areas within their curriculum (The Chinese Labor Market). Wide varieties of subjects are taught in Chinese classrooms, optimizing children’s potential to leave school with knowledge in different subject areas, and making them competitive in a globalized economy in which we live today (China’s One-Child Policy Comes of Age).

Students attend four to five 50-minute periods in the morning, consisting of general topics, math, English, science, and history, and two to three language periods in the afternoon consisting of Mandarin, English, and a third language of choice (China’s One-Child Policy Comes of Age). Versatile students have a critical advantage in the world of business, making it very easy to associate with numerous kinds of people, and many job opportunities. As an extension of the children’s learning curriculum, students are expected to come to school in the same uniform, every day (Chinese Education for a Price).

Unlike many public schools in the western world, there is limited dress code and often a very strong topic of debate among academies on its benefit and or if it crosses the lines of public freedom. In China, it is thought that by having a common look among students with a pre-defined uniform, every child looks the same and as such, fashion distraction and financial status among the students are eliminated. Essentially, every child can focus more on their education rather than directing their attention to something other than school. Uniforms are a common part of the schools in China.

Almost all secondary schools as well as some elementary schools require students to wear uniforms (Cultural Attitudes Towards Learning). The adoption of a dress code, and wide range of subject matter taught in schools are key concepts that are thought to improve students’ education and success later in life. The third building block of the Chinese education system is the affects that society plays on the individuals.

The social pressure on Chinese children to perform well in school is overwhelming; not only their futures, but also the futures of their parents entirely depend on it. In fact, and particularly in light of China's 1979 single-child policy, excellent performance in school is typically the only expectation that parents in China have of their child—and it has proven to be a formidable one (China’s One-Child Policy Comes of Age). Parents know that if their child does not receive anything less than an exceptional education, they will have limited opportunity to be successful.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 95% of people with a high level education such as masters or doctoral degrees are employed, or are employing others. 45% of people who have very low levels of education, such as a high school diploma, are unemployed. The higher level education students receive makes them extremely competitive in the world today, and gives them ample opportunity to become successful. The highly developed education systems in China give students a significant advantage in a globalized economy because of their cultural views, a wide variety of studied subjects, and the competitive nature of society.

The foundation and managed focus on the educational importance within the emerging china of the 21st century consists of a focused government financial policy, a managed social expansion, i.e. the one child policy, and the very inherent strong cultural and social views of the traditional Chinese people has over the years empowered the Chinese people as a continent set up for world power. These contributions and cultural embedded philosophies have been put in place to meet the needs of an incredibly demanding and expanding society.