Advice for Tourists Visiting China
aim of this section is to give those travelling to China
for the first time an insight into the lives of ordinary
Is normally privately funded, and is a good preparation
for general schooling and life in modern China. Most
parents will try and place their child in a kindergarten
that has English as a major subject, and especially
when taught by foreign teachers
All kids are taught the basic subjects, and Mandarin
is the base language, supplemented by local dialects
as appropriate. At around age 11, there is an examination
that basically determines the child's educational future
- very similar to the West in all aspects.
Junior school is nominally 12 to 15, with years either
side for excellence or remedial studies. State education
does include free Junior schooling, but no more. Studies
as similar to a comprehensive system, but are not determined
by year's-class-groupings, as prevalent in generalised
UK. Rather they are properly geared to a specific child's
aptitude in each core subject = Your child sucks at
Maths, then they are in the bottom class. Your child
excels at English, then they are in the top class ...
and for their ability, so this system can be inter-year
also = a bright 13-year old can graduate Junior school
(Recorded officially). Those who simply 'don't get-it'
must leave at 18 = mostly language of delivery
The language of delivery will be Mandarin + occasional
local dialects. There will be options in most schools
for English language supported by Native English speakers.
Cantonese will be normally be taught as an extra subject
= after normal hours
Juniors face a very critical exam at age Circa 16, which
determines if they qualify to advance to Senior School.
Most children's schooldays are now 14 hours long - from
7am to 9 pm. They will also attend extra-curricular
classes on Saturdays and Sunday evenings - which leaves
the vast majority only 24 hours per week at home to
spend with family. This is accepted practice
Now schooling gets serious, the goal being to pass Final
Year examinations and qualify for the best University
places. This is usually a two-year level, with ages
16 to 18. In practice, ages are usually older than 16,
and up to 20
Some of this discrepancy is due to the fact that Traditional
Chinese teaching methods rely solely upon 'repetition'.
However, by this stage, the students also know upwards
of 40, 000 Chinese characters + their local language
+ some English to International conversational standards;
and Cantonese of course. If they come from Shanghai,
then substitute Shanghainese instead, etc...
Their greatest problem; wherein lies the hopes and aspirations
of their greater family - is to graduate with a top
score. This opens the doors to a University education,
and also to their parents bankrolling a new company
This is what we know as University. There is a hierarchy,
and parents still pay for the best they can afford.
Independent funding is acceptable, cash up front. As
in UK and USA, here is a social sigma or eliteness associated
with each University. Ho-Hum!
What Americans term 'An Associates Degree', and what
Brit's call 'A Diploma'; is a three year course of University
study in China. Most Chinese and American University
graduates only hold a Diploma. In China, a Bachelor
takes a minimum of 4-years to complete, usually 5-years,
with a year spent studying in a Western Country
Most Chinese students will complete their Bachelor Degree
Here philosophy's change, as after Graduation, a Chinese
person will consider it their duty to care for their
parents. They will send their entire first wage packet
home, and continue sending money home for the rest of
their lives. They are now looking after their parents.
Successful children will buy a new home for their parents
- whilst they still struggle to make ends meet, and
perhaps live in a small apartment or bedsit
The aim of both single boys and girls is to become financially
independent and self-sufficient. Boys usually
plan for a life-long career, whilst girls continue working
whilst looking for the best husband. A boy is also looking
for the best wife. There are a few modern career girls
also, as times are changing rapidly in modern China.
However, most new Chinese families aim for the boy to
work, and the girl to look after the house, raise children,
cook, etc = a typical women's roll. The wife normally
looks after household finances and savings. Later aged
parents or relatives will be looked after by the family
also, and they plan for this years in advance
information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in
UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources.
Please check this information yourself as it may alter
without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure
it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for
any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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