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Lack of English courses in Nanjing schools triggers concern among parents

(People's Daily Online)    15:43, September 05, 2016
Lack of English courses in Nanjing schools triggers concern among parents
(file photo)

Just a few days after the new school year began, some parents in Nanjing voiced their dissatisfaction with the absence of English classes in their children's curriculum.

Ms. Qian's child just enrolled in Yueyuan Primary School in the eastern city in China this year. She did not see an English course on her child's class schedule, which quickly triggered discussion in an online group for parents.

"It feels like the children are being deprived of their right to study," Qian said.

A Nanjing education official said that, according to the national curriculum plan, English courses are offered starting in Grade 3. There is no mandatory requirement for English classes for Grades 1 and 2.

Li Xiaobing, headmaster of Yueyuan Primary School, explained that there are 11 English teachers at the school. Together, they are responsible for all the English classes for students in Grades 3 through 6. The school has no extra English teachers to teach Grades 1 and 2. Moreover, the school has the right to decide whether or not to offer English classes to Grades 1 and 2.

According to local media reports, four Grade 1 students at the primary school have already transferred to a different school because of the lack of English courses for younger students.

Most schools in Nanjing offer English classes once or twice a week. However, many parents say that the students aren't learning enough from this bare minimum of mandated requirements.

Cao Yiyu, an English teacher, said that most schools do not put enough emphasis on English classes in Grades 1 and 2. In Grade 3, Cao pointed out, English suddenly become a major course, putting intense pressure on students. This causes many students to decide that they simply don't like English, which is problematic in the long run. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Hongyu,Bianji)

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