Report shows healthy outlook for China's children

15:57, June 01, 2011      

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China recently released the "Research Report on the 10-Year Growth of Chinese Children (1999 to 2010)."

Based on three previous surveys conducted by the China Youth and Children Research Center in 1999, 2005 and 2010, respectively, this general report covers a total of 46 districts and counties in 10 provinces and autonomous regions, namely Guangdong, Fujian, Shandong, Guangxi, Jilin, Hunan, Anhui, Henan, Sichuan and Guizhou. It involves more than 5,000 students at 184 primary and secondary schools.

Degree of self-acceptance continues to improve

Self-understanding and self-acceptance are important indicators of mental health. Data from the report shows that from 1999 to 2010, the proportion of Chinese children who are satisfied with their own appearance and bodily form increased from nearly 77 percent in 1999 to more than 82 percent in 2005 and to more than 84 percent in 2010.

The percentage of those who are satisfied with their own physical condition increased from nearly 81 percent to more than 83 percent and then to nearly 87 percent. The percentage of those who are satisfied with their own characters increased from more than 71 percent to nearly 77 percent and finally to more than 81 percent. The percentage of those who are satisfied with their learning situation increased from nearly 60 percent to nearly 70 percent and then to nearly 78 percent.

Zhu Song, a researcher at the China Youth and Children Research Center, noted that according to the survey results, most children are able to understand themselves and are relatively satisfied with themselves.

The degree of satisfaction in different areas has been on the steady rise in the past 10 years. The percentage of respondents satisfied with their studies witnessed the largest increase, growing 18 percent from 1999 to 2010. It was partly attributed to the vigorous promotion of quality education. In recent years, domestic educators have been paying more and more attention to the all-around development of students, including their mental quality. The innovation in education theories and teaching styles has increased students' confidence in learning.

Contemporary children value both personal, social well-being

Due to a growing cultural diversity, values of contemporary children have diversified. They appreciate both traditional and modern values as well as attach importance to both personal and social well-being.

Despite their diverse views on happiness, many children surveyed expressed a willingness to make contributions to society while achieving personal happiness. The 2010 survey showed that nearly 59 percent of respondents considered "having a warm home" as a key factor of happiness, followed by "having close friends" at nearly 39 percent, "making contributions to society" at more than 24 percent and "health" at more than 21 percent. Hence, it can be concluded that contemporary children attach importance to both personal and social well-being.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents are sleep-deprived

The sleep hours of the elementary and middle school students in China have continually declined in recent years. Nearly 80 percent of respondents did not have enough sleep.

According to the survey conducted in 2010, the elementary and middle school students slept an average of 7 hours and 37 minutes per weekday, 1 hour and 22 minutes fewer than in 2005 and 1 hour and 23 minutes fewer than the minimum national standard. More than 78 percent of respondents slept fewer than nine hours per weekday in 2010, increasing by 32 percent from 2005.

The respondents slept an average of 7 hours and 49 minutes on a weekend day in 2010, 1 hour and 47 minutes less than in 2005, and 1 hour and 11 minutes less than the minimum national standard. Nearly 72 percent of respondents slept less than 9 hours per day on weekends in 2010, up nearly 42 percent from 2005.

"Heavy schoolwork, bad study habits and long commuting times have all contributed to their sleep shortage," said Deng Xiquan, a researcher at the China Youth and Children Research Center.

50 percent of Chinese children have over 1,000 yuan savings

The report also showed that Chinese children's savings increased rapidly over the past decade. In 1999, only nearly 15 percent of Chinese children had personal savings exceeding 1,000 yuan, and the percentage reached 39 percent in 2005 and then nearly 50 percent in 2010, realizing a more than three-fold increase during 10 years.

Chinese children largely agree with mainstream consumption concepts. Roughly 97 percent of them agree with the idea of thrift. Nearly 81 percent believe in savings, and nearly 93 percent are against the idea that money means everything.

Nearly 40 percent of teachers only care about academic performance

Over the past decade, the degree of mutual respect and equality between teachers and students has improved to a certain degree, and teachers can more equally treat their students. However, there are still a lot of teachers who judge their students simply by their scores. According to the data, nearly 40 percent of teachers still care only about academic performance of their students.

The report shows that over the past decade, the relationship between teachers and students have changed from one-way transmission to mutual communication. Cooperation, interaction and equal communication have become the mainstream class teaching patterns, which can be seen in three aspects. First, students have more speaking opportunities. More teachers give students a chance to debate on controversial topics. Second, teachers often organize group discussion for students, enabling them to be more involved in class. Finally, more teachers encourage students to ask questions in class.

The report also shows that most teachers do not discriminate against students because of scores, appearance, economic conditions and class performance and that teachers can treat students equally. However, only 60 percent of teachers do not discriminate against students because of scores, compared to the three other factors — appearance, economic conditions and class performance — 81 percent, 80.7 percent and 73.3 percent, respectively. As can be seen, in some schools, students are still judged only by academic performance, and scores remain an important factor for teachers to evaluate students.

By People's Daily Online
 
 
     
 
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(Editor:石希)

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