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Links 1 through 10 of 25 by David Bandurski tagged education

In an editorial today, the Chinese-language Global Times, a spin-off of China's official People's Daily, writes that it is wrong and worrisome to see young teens participating in political actions that seen recently in Sichuan, where thousands of residents of Shifang city turned out to protests the building of a molybdenum-cooper plant. The paper wrote: "Middle school students are not yet adults and their ideas are not yet fully mature. They are very emotional and highly sensitive . . . [They] can be easily swayed by adults, either toward a correct social mentality or in the wrong direction." "In every normal household," the paper continued, "the correct duty of middle school students is to study, and not to be encouraged to join events of a political nature." To this, journalist and CMP fellow Xiao Shu (笑蜀) responded: "For this purpose, all Party organizations must exit our schools, and no political events should be allowed. What does [GT editor] Hu Xijin think about this?"

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In a recent survey of more than 10,000 people in China conducted by the China Youth Daily, a newspaper published by the Chinese Communist Youth League, 34 percent of respondents said they now "regretted attending university", and 51 percent believed that they had not studied anything of practical use at university. The survey report, which dealt with the issues of education and employment in China, also said that the average education costs for Chinese from birth to 16 years of age now stood at 250,000 RMB, or roughly US$40,000.

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China Youth Daily reports that Liu Junhong (刘军红), a rural teacher in Longxi (陇西), in China's western Gansu province, has been arrested for the rape and abuse of at least 8 school children between the ages of 10 and 13. The newspaper reported that it took a year for Liu's crimes to come to light, and most of the victims are girls whose parents have gone off to the cities to do migrant work. Unfortunately, the China Youth Daily report appears to identify at least one 11-year-old victim by name.

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China's State Council has announced that it will launch a program this year to provide direct college entrance to an additional 10,000 students over five years from a list of 680 impoverished counties across China. The government said the project will not affect the normal college entrance procedures for regions not designated as poverty-stricken.

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The Legislative Affairs Office of China's State Council announced yesterday that it had received 2,818 comments by e-mail and 7,030 written letters from the public concerning a proposed new national ordinance on school bus safety (校车安全条例草案). The proposed legislation was announced late last year in response to a series of tragic accidents involving school buses across the country. According to coverage by The Beijing News today, one of the strongest comments in response to the proposed legislation was that more funds go to the building of schools rather than focus on the safety of buses themselves. More schools, said many Chinese, would mean schools were closer and long bus journeys unnecessary.

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Writing today at Southern Metropolis Daily, Peking University constitutional scholar Zhang Qianfan (张千帆) argues that the time is right to get rid of current restrictions that make it impossible for students with outside registration papers -- usually the children of "rural" migrant laborers in China's cities -- to take the college entrance examination where they live. Zhang argues for one uniform national exam in place of the current system of 17 separate exams.

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Xin'an Evening News reports today on the tragic death of a 3-year-old girl in the city of Anqing (安庆) in China's Anhui province. According to the report, Zhu Yan (朱颜) bounded onto the school bus on the way to kindergarten at 7:45am, just as always. Her parents received a phone call from a teacher at 7:45pm saying that she had been mistakenly shut up in the school bus all day and had died of suffocation. The story has been shared actively today on China's microblogs. Here, for example, is the post on Caijing magazines official microblog account: http://bit.ly/oJvVbq 
Zhu Yan's parents reject the explanation given by the kindergarten.

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In a commentary piece in today's edition of Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post, Wang Daihua (汪代华) questions the wisdom of a recent decision by a high school in the city of Ningbo to set up a "venting room" (宣泄室) in which stressed out and frustrated students can freely spill their verbal aggression. A college entrance examinations start this week, much attention in China's media has turned to the pressures facing the country's students. Wang writes: "The setting up of a 'venting room' shows that our schools have begun to give attention to the issue of psychological pressures on students. But so-called 'venting rooms' should not be the method used to lessen pressure on students."

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As annual college entrance examinations kick off around China today, a commentary in the Chinese Communist Party's official People's Daily newspaper argues that urgent reforms are required to ensure that college examinations happen on a level playing field. College exams, a critical and stressful rite of passage for Chinese high schoolers, have been dogged in recent years with numerous revelations of cheating and other abuses. 

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In an interview yesterday with China National Radio, Li Tie (李铁), director of the City and Township Development Center of China's Development and Reform Commission, said that while the country's rate of urbanization now stands at 47.5 percent -- meaning 47.5 percent of Chinese now live in cities -- less than 40 percent of these people have access to public services. One of the most critical questions China faces for the future, said Li, is finding ways to integrate this population and give them access to housing and basic services. 

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