The ABC of learning to live

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, May 9, 2022
Adjust font size:

For decades, school education has laid too much emphasis on the score one gets in exams and neglected other aspects of children's personal development such as physical education and basic life skills. Partly as a result of this, many young people are unable to cook a simple meal, can't manage their time or their finances well, and don't know how to do the laundry or basic housekeeping.

Young people need to be able to cope with daily problems themselves. Yet the fact is that many Chinese children lack the practical skills to do so. In a 2019 report, a well-known domestic magazine Banyuetan quoted a media survey as saying that US pupils do practical activities 1.2 hours each day, while Chinese pupils do only 12 minutes a day. That survey is echoed by reports that many Chinese pupils today are not even able to tie their own shoe laces.

In a recently announced plan on compulsory education, the Ministry of Education has separated "practical activities" from the previous course "comprehensive practice" and made them an independent course.

In the coming semester in September, primary and secondary school pupils will find the new "practical activities" course in their schedule, with at least one class hour every week. Some complain that might take up precious time and energy from pupils, but the fact is that learning practical skills is an important element in shaping a person's character.

The new course has three types of tasks: everyday chores, including cleaning, organizing, cooking, and using and maintaining home appliances; productive labor, including traditional handicrafts; experience of new technologies, such as 3D printing; and volunteer work.

Of course, the times have changed. It may seem unrealistic and unnecessary to require every young person to learn such things when they can get most things done by clicking on an app. But learning how to cook two or three dishes and designing a nutritious recipe, for instance, are skills that cultivate children's independence and foster a good work spirit.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from