Chinese students lead world in learning time: report

A report said Chinese primary and secondary school students spend more time on excessive homework inside and outside of school as well as for extracurricular tutoring than their peers in other countries, the China Youth Daily reported on March 22.

The average time spent on extracurricular courses on weekdays was 0.8 hours in 2015, and 2.1 hours on weekends, doubling and tripling that of 10 years ago, respectively, according to the 21st Century Education Research Institute.

These excessive burdens take away from their time to sleep and do sports resulting in more nearsighted and obese students and adding mental as well as financial pressure to the students and their families.

Han Ping, deputy director of the Education Department of Zhejiang province, said this year’s report on the work of the government draws attention regarding the problem of heavy extracurricular burdens on primary and secondary school students.

Fair and high-quality education results from widespread demand for better living standards. Therein, heavy schooling and extracurricular burdens on primary and secondary school students are specifically a reflection of unbalanced and inadequate developments in the education sector, Han said.

A report shows that in 2016, the market value of extracurricular training classes for primary and secondary school students in China exceeded 800 billion yuan, with 137 million students being involved.

To cool down the overheated extracurricular training market, education experts and officials suggest that schools step up scientific management to convey to teachers that lessons and instructions should be based merely on the curriculum.

Furthermore, a scientific system to evaluate students should be developed to make sure that school admission will not be based on exam scores at the compulsory education stage, Han said.

School tutoring classes should also be regulated, and it should be made sure that they do not disturb the original education order. In addition, vicious links between some school teachers and private training centers should be cut.