Dear Commons Community,
Nicholas Kristof has a fine column today examining the improvements in the primary and secondary education system in China. Essentially he praises the investment that the Chinese government has made in its public schools, one that was relatively weak a couple of decades ago especially in the rural areas. Mr. Kristof credits the respect for education based on Confucian principles combined with technical aspects (hard work, some flexibility with reassigning teachers, etc. ) of the education system that have contributed to improvements. However, the Achilles heel of the Chinese education system is its over-reliance on testing and memorization. Among Chinese educators there has been a growing concern about the need to integrate more creativity and exploration into the public schools. I commented on this issue here on this blog in December 2010.
I agree with Mr. Kristoph that if things keep going the way they are, China will surely be the dominant power on this planet mainly because of its investment and improvements in its public schools. I am sad to say that many of the reforms undertaken in our country especially in large urban distrticts are designed to do the opposite.