E-mails and comments welcome from teachers and learners of all ages.  
November 12, 2003
In the land of the well behaved Little Emperors

I've always thought that that One Child policy in China was a bomb waiting to explode. All this only child objects of parental worship, and at the end of it, a fight to the death to get a girl friend. (Their potential girl friends tended to die in infancy.) How's that going to play out?

John Clare has an article in today's Telegraph about education in China which fills in some of the details. He's been there and seen a little of it, and is achingly envious of the eerily good behaviour of the Chinese children.

Deep calls to deep. The ancient Chinese authoritarian foundations upon which communism was first built, and back to which it is crumbling, reach out across teh continents to the Telegraph educational agony uncle.

Two things struck me. One was that state education, though compulsory from six to 15, is only partially subsidised: parents and sponsors commonly meet about 35 per cent of the cost. In the case of WenHui Middle School, the government provided the land and the buildings, but the school pays for everything else.

Second, I was in Beijing when Tony Blair's monthly press conference was broadcast live on CNN. His first words were: "The main issues for our society are disrespect and anti-social behaviour. The community has to be re-built around deeply rooted values."

Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from the People's Republic of China?

One thing the Chinese are apparently all learning about us, though, is: our language. That also will surely have interesting consequences.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:01 PM
Category: LanguagesThis and that
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