The BBC is reporting claims that China’s education system is robbing its young people of the chance to become unique individuals.
Author and academic Sir Anthony Seldon says China’s strict schooling style needs to change or its youngsters will suffer, along with its economy.
Chinese schools, often criticised for rote and repetitive learning, should be more holistic, says Sir Anthony.
The comments come during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK.
In a speech at the Institute of Education on Wednesday, the president seemed to take on board some of these notions.
He said, after watching a BBC programme recreating a Chinese school in England, he had realised that “the British have learned the virtues of strict discipline” from China.
The Chinese, meanwhile, had been learning the advantages of recreation, he added.
“Chinese children do not play enough. They should play more,” Mr Xi said.
In a speech in Shanghai on Friday, Sir Anthony, now vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said: “China has some of the top schools in the world and is leading the way with maths and science…”
Sir Anthony added: “It is the ‘human’ skills that cannot be replaced by computers that Chinese schools and schools worldwide need to be giving far greater focus.
“Many schools are robbing the young of the opportunity to blossom into the unique individuals that they are because too many teachers think that solely cramming pupils’ heads full of facts is education.
“Many education systems focus on exams being the sole validators of school, but recent research suggests that jobs with a big growth in salary have been those that require a high degree of social skills,” he adds…
Some interesting comments here both from Sir Anthony and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
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