'Five steps' to better education

Updated: 2014-09-10 08:11

(China Daily)

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There are five steps to better education in China. First, people have to change their mindset that "harder is better". This seems to be as much of a cultural mindset - not restricted to the field of education - in China. "Suffering" is seen as honorable and is often initiated by decisions to, well, suffer. It makes no sense to choose to suffer rather than trying to find ways to alleviate one's sufferings.

Second, if most Chinese believe that Western education is better than Chinese, then they should send their children to schools in the West or Western institutions - a very expensive proposition for most - and adopt the ways of Western schools. The West is criticized for exporting many negative things to other countries like fast food, unsuitable TV shows, and movies and fashion. But the West also exports jobs, technology, industry and other societal advancements.

Third, parents should get involved. Parents are the most important people in a child's education. Teachers come after parents. No one can influence a teenager more than his/her mother and father.

Fourth, schools should focus on quality rather than quantity. Some schools invest in expensive resources without specific plans on how to maintain them and ensure that they remain productive. This has to stop.

Fifth, teachers should be properly trained. Teachers need to undergo thorough training in teaching styles and methods. When you tend not to believe that "harder is better", you can create innovative ways of teaching students.

MICHAEL M, from China Daily forum