The Education System: The Big Picture

Education holds great importance in China, opening the door to promising professional careers, wealth, and financial security for the whole family. The Chinese strongly believe that a school or university with a better reputation gives a better education and assures a good future. Accordingly, Chinese are willing to invest a huge part of their income on their children’s education.
The education system was nearly destroyed by the negative impacts of the cultural revolution. In recent years China has made rapid progress in improving the system once again. Initially built around “key” schools and universities for a small elite (a concept that still exists today on a small scale), the leadership has implemented numerous reforms to resolve the problems of disparity and inequality in education. These initiatives were geared towards raising the standard of education across the country and included school ratings to achieve minimum standards, increased public funds for rural schools, and systematic teacher transfers (urban teachers sent to rural areas and vice versa).
However, the system still emphasizes repetitive learning rather than deep understanding and problem-solving skills. Thus, it has strong limitations in producing school graduates with creative…