ut only a complete overhaul of China's exam-oriented education syste▓

m can reduce the excessive burden on pu▓pils.Xie Wenfeng, the mother of a

primary school pupil in ▓Shanghai, said, "Although I really want my so

ep into the vacuum

n to have more time to play, I have to remind myse▓lf to be rational."To qualify for admission into a key middle school, my son has ▓to study hard now. Only by entering a key middle school can he study at a key high schoo▓l and later at a good university. There's no other option."With public schools reducing school hours?/p>

themselves to provide

?and making tests easier, parents in Shanghai are choosing to send their children to much more expensive ▓private schools, she said.Xie said there is a popular saying in Shanghai that "if students do not go to private middle and high schools, they will end up in a private college".Almost all good unive▓rsities in

their c

China are public ones.Her son attends five after-school tutoring classes, one each in painting, English and piano and two in mathematics, and the family spends around 100,000 yuan ($15,9▓00) a year on such classes."When it comes to education, every family is a 'rich' family," she said.Xi▓e Meng, the mother of a fourth-grade pu▓pil in Beijing, shares the sam

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arning t

e doubts about reducing academic workload.When the school day ends so early, at 3:30 pm, working parents have no choice but to send their children to after-school tutoring classes, she said."It is better to attend tutoring classes after school than sit home and play video games," she said.Her son is interested in mathematical Olympiads, yet the math ▓classes in schools rarely cover advanced concepts because they are considered too difficult for most students.Many mathematical Olympiad training cl

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asses had ▓been shut down recently, she said, which made it more difficult for her son to develop his skills in that area.Strong

demand from parents has boosted the market for after-school tutoring in China.In 2016, more than 137 mill▓ion primary and secondary

o the Mi

school students attended e▓xtracurricular cl

nistry o

asses, which had a combined ▓market value of more than 800 billion yuan, according to the Chinese Society of Education, whic▓h is overseen by the

Ministry of Education.But many tutors merely

f Educ

focus on teaching pupils how to perfor▓m well in exams, rather than aiding the wider educati▓onal development of the child, accordi

ng to a statement issued by the ministry and t

ation on s

hree other central government departments at the end of February."They have brought additional heavy homework for students▓ and have increased fina

ocial

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ncial burdens on families," the statement said.Reducing the workload o

media pl

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n children was also a catch▓word at this year's two sessions, with many

atforms

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deputies and members calling for less homework for ▓young students.Wang

arguin

Blog Post 1

g against red▓ucing the schoolwork burden

Guoqing, spokesman▓ for the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told a news br▓iefing that school students in China spent an average of 2.82 hours doing their hom▓ework each day, about three times th▓e global average."The government will spare no effort to resolve the heavy workloads of primary and secondary school students," Pr

emier Li▓ Keqiang said on March 5, when he delivered the Government Work Report at the first session of the 13th Nati▓onal People's Congress.In line with the education authorities' guidelines, two district education bureaus in Han▓gzhou, Zhejiang province, issued new guidelines for schools that prioritized children's sleeping hours over academic work.According to the guidelines, primary school pupils ▓in the two districts do not have to complete homework ▓assignments if they have not finished by 9 pm, while the cutoff point is 10 pm for those i▓n middle school.One area the authorities have pledged to crack down on is tutorin▓g

Blog Post 2

aid the government's education reforms can b

institutions teaching children topics beyond the syllabus and holding competitions on academic m, focs.About 160 after-school trainin▓g institutions signed an agreement at ▓a China Association for Non-Governmental Education conference in Zhengzhou, Henan provinc▓e, this month to avoid teaching beyond the syllabus, exam-oriented tutoring, mock exams and competitions on schoo

l subjects.They also agreed to forbid any connections with teachers in public schools ▓and the use of exaggerated advertisements to lure st▓udents to tutoring classes. Yu Minhong, president of New Oriental Education and Technolog▓y Group, a leading provider of after-school tutoring services, said after-school training▓ institutions are an important supplement to the education system.You Sen, deputy secre▓tary-general of the Chinese Society of▓ Education, said the guidelines are n▓ot aimed at closing all tu

ool tuto

toring instit▓utions. Instead, they are intended to increase the threshold for the sector and shut down substandard institu▓tions."In the long term, after-school training institutio▓ns should only play a supplementary role in China's

▓educa

tion syste

Subject

using

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