Chinese Kids Not Sleeping Enough

Yet another example of the overworked, overscheduled Chinese child.

Nearly half of primary and middle school students surveyed in a new poll go to sleep after 10 pm. Half of their parents think that lack of sleep has affected their child’s memory, thinking and growth, according to the survey conducted by and the Beijing Times.

A 2007 survey conducted by Chinese Youth and Children Research Center (CYCRC) showed China’s children spend 8.6 hours a day at school, with some spending 12 hours a day in the classroom, much lower than doctors’ recommendation of nine hours of sleep.

It is absolutely drudgery for a child, but it’s the only way for the kids to go to a well-known primary and secondary school, then a famous university. Since current regulations require that students go to the primary and junior middle schools nearest to their homes, there is no guarantee that excellent kids can go to an outstanding school. The only chance for those who want to determine their own fate is to improve their skills in some field and be chosen by famous schools in an “Independent Enrollment” program. Therefore, besides the mountain of homework, our kids still have to be equipped with “skills” to become more qualified to enroll in a well-known school.

How to allocate the limited education resources with such a dramatic need? There is no denying that hard working and great effort are required on the way to success. However, a reasonable and effective talents selection and promotion mechanism plays a key role in the prosperity of a society. Our kids, instead of being forced to develop so-called skills, should enjoy a happy childhood and devote themselves to what they really love.

About Shuang An

Shuang An is a first year graduate in Public Relations at USC Anneberg School. She has a BA in Chinese Language and Literature. She is interested in management of new emerging media.
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