1.It Is Not Profitable to Study
This sounds like alarmist talk, but the whole nation faces the danger of believing that it is not profitable to study.
The following figures will serve as evidence:
Between 1980 and 1988, more than 4 million primary and middle school students quit school. In 1988 alone, more than 6,000 college students and 2,000 post-graduate students left school.
At the same time, a large number of teachers resigned to find better-paying jobs. In some areas, schools had to close because there were no teachers available.
Although the country lacks educated people, more than 5,000 college graduates were turned down by the work units to which they ere assigned last year.
A study shows that 35 per cent of the country’s population above the age of 15 is illiterate or half-literate. The situation could affect social standards and threaten the survival of the nation.
An article from the Beijing-based Economics Weekly attributed the dangerous situation in education to insufficient funding. China’s only allocates 3.7 per cent of its gross national product to education, lower than some 100 other countries of the world. China’s per capita spending on education equals one-fourth that of other developing countries.
Teachers are poorly paid. According to 1988 statistics, teacher generally earn less than factory workers, bank employees and technological personnel.
Teachers’ housing problems are more serious than those of other employees. Last year, 38 per cent of the teachers at Qinghua University lived in extremely crowded quarters and 4.5 per cent had no apartments, while 600 single teachers lived in rooms shared by three or four.
The tradition over thousands of years that scholars should not pursue material goals has changed. Many teachers have quit their school jobs to do business. Others say they hope that their children will not become teachers like them.
To make things worse, the limited funds for education have not always been used in the right way.
Between 1985 and 1986, government auditing departments discovered that as much as 500 million yuan was spent on official buildings, cars and business activities, wile many students attended classes in rundown classrooms or even outdoors.
2. Education Is about Something More Important
Yes, but that is education bout? Is it really about facts and figures, learning things by heart -you know, the three "r’ s" reading, writing and arithmetic (and that shows somebody can’t spell, doesn’t it?) No, it gets me really cross. People criticize modern education because some kids don’t know their seven times table. Hell, what does that matter in the age of computers and calculators? No, education is about something much more important. It’s about teaching people how to live, how to get on with one another, how to form relationships. It’s abut understanding things, not just knowing them. O. K. seven sevens are forty-nine. But what does that mean? It’s not just a formula, you know. I want my kids to understand.