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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Putting child's play back into kindergarten (2)

By Cang Wei and Song Wenwei (China Daily)

10:27, March 02, 2012

"Many foreign countries, such as the United States, have a teaching syllabus for children between 5 and 8," Liao said.

"Instead of tedious learning, it clarifies what children should experience," she said.

"Many Chinese children have given up their personal interest and dreams, after years of great pressure to learn knowledge."

She added that changing elementary schools' teaching methods is key.

"Many teachers of elementary schools don't teach pinyin, the phonetic romanization of Chinese characters and the basis for learning Chinese, to children when they enter school because it's taken for granted that they have acquired it in kindergartens," Liao said.

Parents, however, said they will still ask their children to attend academic courses.

"Even if kindergartens stop giving those courses, we'll send the boy to some private school that offers the courses," Zhou said. "If we don't do so, my son will lag behind other children in terms of academic performance and he'll suffer in the future to catch up with them."

To enter elementary schools, especially some reputable ones, Chinese children have to get high evaluations. Academic subjects count a great deal in this regard.

"Some elementary schools used to ask children to master more than 500 characters in kindergartens," Zeng said.

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