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Chinese Education

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Chinese Education

The Education system in China although different than America's has many good qualities. The view of Education in China has changed dramatically over the last forty years; it has gone from there being no real system to one that is held up to be one of the best in the world. In this paper I will go through the history of Chinese education and show how much it truly has changed. I will also look at how it is now and what China can expect for its future.

In 1949 The People's Republic of China was formed by the Communist party. This happened after much struggle between the communists and the nationalists. The leader of the communist party and the new People's Republic was Mao Zedong. When the communists took over China they implemented many new ideas that were supposed to bring China up to speed in regards to the industrial development. He started the five year plan in which the people and government of China was to focus on the development of industry and to challenge the old ways of thinking. The old ways were called "the four olds" these were habits, ideas, customs, and cultures. After three years Mao asked for feedback of all of the changes that had been occurring, this was called "The Hundred Flowers Campaign". The people didn't all like what had been happening; especially the educated and they gave bad feedback to Mao. He decided to purge the society of these "poisonous weeds" as he called the educated because they challenged his authority. At this time all education was focused on redness which is the communist ideology. This is when the battle of the government verses the educated began and continued for many years.

For many years the different plans that Mao thought of were not as successful as he had hoped. In 1959 Mao Zedong stepped down as the nation's leader but remained as the communist's party leader. He did this in order to take responsibility for the failures of the Great Leap Forward, and the other problems that had been caused under his leadership. Then in 1965 Mao took control of the government once again and this is when he established the Proletariat Cultural Revolution. Mao believed that the educated people were to blame for the many problems of China, he thought they hindered Marxism. So from 1966 to 1976 the entire education system was closed down in order to fix the problems caused and to focus more on redness, these ten years were called "the ten bad years". Education created new ideas and thoughts which allowed people to think for themselves which is not what Mao wanted them to do. He sent several of the educated people to communes and he also killed many of them. These ten years came to an end when Mao died in 1976.

In 1978 Deng Xiaoping became the leader of the People's Republic of China, and he began the "De-Maoization" process. This allowed the people a chance to express how they really felt about the way Mao ran the country. It was then that the educated were looked upon to help fix the many problems that Mao had created, and were being allowed more freedom than they had ever had before. Xiaoping created the new "Open Door Policy" in 1980 which allowed people to leave China and visit and also to bring back the ideas that they had learned in western cultures, more than 200,000 people were sent abroad. They were allowed to study oversees and it was because of this that many of the western ideas were introduced into Chinese society. This didn't work as well as they had planned because when the students came back they were very liberal and looked down on the people and the way of life of the Chinese. On June 4, 1989 over one million students came to protest in Tiananmen Square because they wanted China to give them more freedom, and they wanted all the changes to happen faster. In order to stop the protest the government sent in the Chinese army to dispel them, most of the student leaders were arrested and then killed.

In order to understand the education system in China you must know the different characteristics that make it up. These characteristics are size, comprehensive, imbalanced, competitive, and centralised. The Chinese educational system is the biggest educational system in the world. There are 330,000,000 students in China! This is greater than the entire population of the United States of America! The education system goes through grades pre-kindergarten (before age 6) to post graduate (2-3 years for Masters; 2-3 years for Doctorates). The Chinese educational system is not a balanced educational system. While there are some schools in the cities that can match some of our western countries in terms of resourcing the vast majority of schools are in the countryside. The Chinese educational system is a highly competitive educational system. Because of the huge population waiting to be educated, and the limited space in colleges and universities, entrance to higher educational institutions must be very competitive. The Chinese educational system is a centralised educational system. The legislation of education rests not locally or provincially but centrally, with the Ministry.

One of the reasons that the education system has continued to grow and change is because of the help from foreign countries. The reason for this aid is because the different countries have seen and heard about the state of education in China. It is because they value education at such a high standard that they are offering their help. Education is the way to the future. The people who are educated are going to be the ones that run the country and if foreign countries can be a part of helping this process, then in the future they will have favors to call in on China in times of need. It is because of this foreign aid that the education system is becoming more westernized, but there are still many differences between China's and America's education systems.

There are many concerns that China is facing right now. Some of these problems regard adult education, vocational education, and the new technological advances. The focus on adult education is more of a literacy campaign. Due to the "Ten bad Years"



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