Whiz kid wants a quiet life
Updated: 2012-12-03 09:58
By Xu Jingxi (China Daily)
Feng Shaoyi and his father, Feng Yingang, in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.
Feng Shaoyi completed his primary school education within three years, rather than the typical six.
The 10-year-old even had time during those three years to act in TV dramas.
Related: The information age
A 10-year-old has become an online sensation for his micro blog posts about reinventing education in the Internet era.
The boy claims that in primary school, he was able to finish reading a textbook in five hours and only needed the same amount of time to memorize a whole chapter, which took his teachers a whole week to teach.
His wish is to be homeschooled and only go to school for exams. Feng says he can ask his dad or surf the "powerful" Internet for answers if he has questions.
His father, Feng Yingang, who works as the sales director of a Shanghai-headquartered chemical company, believes it's unrealistic for him to find the time to tutor his son at home.
"My son wrote the online application asking to quit school to relieve stress, and to seek my attention and comfort. He didn't even know what quitting school really meant until I talked to him," the father says.
"He didn't mean he wanted to drop out. He just wanted a break."
Feng's father believes his son is still adapting to junior high. The boy feels stress about failing his first English examination, he says.
"I can understand why junior high teachers focus so much on grades and rankings," the dad says.
"It's because students need to score high marks to get into high school, which isn't guaranteed by the compulsory nine-year education policy."
He never submitted the leave application that he had completed for his son.
The boy says he still plans to study hard and end up in a good high school and university. "I was just asking for more freedom and a more relaxed studying environment," he says.
"I posted the message online because I believe school education could be improved if more people demand change after reading it."
But the public spotlight's sudden glare has proven too much for the boy.
He says he wants to "study and live a quiet life", and pay no heed to the comments about him - be they praises or criticisms.
"He may end up more stressed out if he really leaves school to study at home: All eyes will be on him, monitoring his performance," says Feng Yingang, who has requested that the teachers at his son's junior high school turn down media requests.
Du Fang, Feng Shaoyi's primary school teacher, was also cautious when talking about the boy.
"(He's) sometimes clever, sometimes mature and sometimes childish," she says.
She made these comments while in Beijing for training.
"He's special to me," she says.
"To protect him, I can't say more until I return to Zhuhai and talk to him about his thoughts. After all, he's just a kid."