No summer relief for kindergarten pupils

Updated: 2013-07-25 09:08

By Wu Ni (China Daily)

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Pre-primary training has become a matter of course,Wu Ni reports in Shanghai.

Although there is still a year to go before Nie Jiayi leaves kindergarten, the 5-year-old girl is busy preparing for primary school, which she is due to start in September 2014.

No summer relief for kindergarten pupils

Jiayi practises piano at home. Wu Ni / China Daily

Jiayi had been dreaming about the perfect summer vacation and was looking forward to traveling outside her city with her parents, but has just discovered that her holiday is unlikely to be a relaxing experience.

Her days are full. Every morning, escorted by her grandparents, she leaves home well before 8 to attend a one-hour pinyin course, where she learns to spell Chinese in roman script. The two-week course costs 1,000 yuan ($163).

No summer relief for kindergarten pupils

A selection of Jiayi's books. Wu Ni / China Daily

Jiayi also attends an hourlong English class twice a week. She is making good progress, but is a little shy about demonstrating her US accent. The class costs 160 yuan an hour.

In addition, she has a "logical thinking" class once a week, costing 220 yuan an hour. The tutor claims the course can develop children's ability to think in a structured and logical manner.

Meanwhile, a piano teacher visits Jiayi's home in Shanghai's Xuhui district once a week, charging 160 yuan an hour. And, as if all that were not enough, the girl has also been enrolled for classes in dancing and drawing at the kindergarten.

Jiayi confessed, "I don't want to go to the courses. My mother wants me to go, but I would like to go traveling instead, or watch Balala, Little Magic Fairy (a popular Chinese animation), that's my favorite!"

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