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Why Chinese students enjoy playing truant?

(China Daily)

09:12, October 24, 2011

A survey of more than 2,000 students found that more than 80 percent often play truant. There is even a website for students to compare notes on cutting classes.

By avoiding classes, the students are not only wasting the money their parents pay for their tuition, they are also failing to treasure the opportunity to acquire knowledge.

But the problem is not just on the part of students, as some of them say they skip classes because the lessons are boring and they fall asleep if they have to attend such classes.

This suggests that the quality of courses many universities provide is not up to scratch. A survey of fresh students this year shows that only 40 percent are satisfied with the instruction they have received so far. Statistics suggest that about 160,000 students, almost 0.80 percent of the total number on campus, quit every year.

The quality of education in higher learning institutions has become a growing concern in recent years, although there are as yet no statistics to testify to the decline in teaching quality.

Clearly there is much to be desired when it comes to the quality of teachers and their teaching methods.

It is the duty of a teacher to stimulate the interest of students and to encourage them to learn, and it is the responsibility of a teacher to pass on knowledge to students.

It should be high on the agenda for universities to improve the quality of teachers and courses. And teachers must be made aware that they need to dedicate themselves to teaching and show concern for the needs of students.

The frequent scandals of plagiarism by university professors are a reminder that the measure of commitment some teachers give to their work is yet to be raised.

The number of institutions of higher learning in the country has increased from less than 100 in 1978 to nearly 2,000 at present and the number of students has jumped from about 850,000 in 1978 to more than 22 million today.

Students should not be too pragmatic or shortsighted about the courses they take. It is quite possible that some of the courses they take may not be of immediate use to them in landing a job, but they may prove to be beneficial to their career and personality development in the long run.

If students cut classes simply because they consider a course to be useless in helping them get a job, they will regret it in the future.

So apart from improving teaching quality, students need to be taught to see beyond immediate gains in deciding which courses to take and attend.

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