Hijacked Education by Scientists

This is a series of articles on education in Shanghai (I tried to avoid big topics like Education in China:

Worry about Yifan’s Education and

Worry about Yifan’s Education – Part II
Is China Changeable?

Chinese or International Eduction?

University Education = Hukou in China

Schools Conducted by Gaokao

Hijacked Education by Scientists

After writing for a week about all the pressure the Chinese educational system put to students, let me spend one article to discuss about the output of this system.

The idea and even title of this article was inspired by Hong-Wei Hua’s previous article with the same title. He did great job in analyzing the current situation and answered one question: “Why University Students Cannot Find a Job after Graduation?”

Reality of University Graduates

After 16 years of school education (9 years preliminary + 3 year high school + 4 year university), and high pressure education, the graduates from universities seem should be very capable. The reality is just the opposite.

The university students today cannot find a job!

To be fair, one of the key driver was there are too many graduates compared to 10 years ago, and there are impact of current job market, but it is far beyond that reason.

Since all the students were educated in a way to pass a certain exam, I am sure they can do it much better than other students. My bias is, if you put the same students from all countries to do exactly the same paper of the College Entrance Exam (the version China is using), they may win over others.

Unfortunately, after they graduate, they are facing challenges of real world, no longer an exam. Students got lost, and suddenly found out that they are not taught of the practical skills to handle the job.

Student’s Perspective

From a student’s perspective, let me share my own story. In the third year of university, once I walk over the job posting board on campus, and started to read the job requirements: SQL Server, Java, PowerBuilder … I was so puzzled that all the skills a company required never appeared in our books – we are still struggling in C. That was the main trigger I shifted my focus, and self-studied by my own in the following two years. To be honest, I skipped most of the classes, and learn the useful things I chose. I am proud that I did it.

Company’s Perspective

As a business owner, I also hire students. My feedback is, I need to invest huge in education. University students don’t have the basic skills to do the job, and we need to turn ourselves into a training center in the first half year. The dilemma is, all best performing students go to good universities. They have huge potential, but knows very few. The students who go to not so good universities, or who didn’t go to university appeared to be more skillful, however, with limited potential.

University’s Perspective

That comes to the point why I would agree with Hua that our educational system was hijacked by scientists. Look at the courses even in today’s university in China – the goal of most of the courses is to train an academic researcher, not for working in a company.

The reality is, most of students (more then 90%) in undergraduate education have to be given up by the system because they don’t really qualify to do the academic research (and they are not interested), and those small portion go to graduate school, and then the non-qualified will be thrown out of university, and those continue to go to doctor degree.

It seems to me that the whole high education was aimed to select a certain type of people (academic research) at a cost of 98% of students’ future.

An analogy will be: thinking about a school with the only goal to select and build the fastest runner and send him to Olympics Game. But the school has the authority to recruit all young men in this country. Yes. Finally, after tough selection, there will be one or two succeed in doing that and get great result, the cost will be, however, millions of other runners who were abandoned get out of the school, only to find out that no runner is needed in this whole society.

Well. A another interesting thing is, although the goal is to find the best academic person, Chinese system failed miserably because students are lack of research skills, and creative skills. That is another topic to discuss though.

12 Comments

  1. Great post. The Chinese education system certainly does seem to be stubbornly focused on a extremely pyramid-based success system. From many to few to several to one. Coming from a Western education system, there are similarities in that if a student only studies the required material they’ll not be qualified in the workforce after graduation, but I think there might be a bit more dogma attached to education in China that amplifies the problem.

    Your end point about a lack of research skills and creative skills is a key one. I was always told that we go to university not to learn any one thing, but to learn how to learn. And I think that it’s those skills, that ability to critically assess your own learning (as you did) which is so essential (and makes someone so employable).

  2. Why University Students Cannot Find a Job after Graduation?”

    – Supply is greater than the Demand !

  3. 其实连大学生也找不到工作是件很能说明问题的事情,我就说过,中国这几年来的发展并没有从根本上提高了自己的生产力,只不过是外贸经济上的收入高了些,在我所从豆芽俄地方,看到,很多企业还很落后。其面貌并不比2000年的时候好多少,有管理理念和思想上可能受到资源的限制,还是一些很初级的运作方式。生产力得不到提高,中国企业的质量就差,生意不好,需要的人自然也就少了。大学生找不到工作,也是说明我国企业很多都搞不去,也就不想再要那么多人了。这很可悲,意味着更多的人需要别人来养活,却又创作不出什么来。

  4. :) I suppose that the ad on the right is very lovely. gege , I like it :)

  5. I never knew that universities were supposed to provide courses specifically to train students for “working in companies” and “not for academic research”. I always thought universities are places where people pursue the unknown, make advances in science, and in general challenge the norm.

  6. 其实体制的背后就是利益的驱动,要说这样的教育体制的弊端大家不知道吗?一动就是整个利益集团的根基啊,他们能不拼命维持?转帖一段关于奥数的:

    支持杨院长”打倒万恶的奥数教育”!

      我和杨东平接触不多,在我眼里,他是十分儒雅平和的人。能逼着杨院长说出这样激烈的话,那事情就肯定到了”是可忍?孰不可忍”的地步。”奥数就是黄赌毒!””奥数就是社会公害!”如果不是出离愤怒,杨东平肯定不会这样大声说话。不料他的这些话,一下子就触动了奥数利益集团的神经,招至激烈的、歇斯底里的围攻和谩骂。

      过去,中国基础教育对孩子实行高压力高负担,主要是家长望子成龙、学校方法不当所致。这还可以说是好心办坏事。而现在呢?把最沉重的压力和负担加到孩子们身上的,已不再是家长,也不再是真正爱护孩子的老师和校长,而是利益集团。

      当利益集团的黑手伸向教育时,事情的性质就起了根本变化。判别某项行为是不是有利益集团在后面操控,判别某人的跟帖是不是为利益集团代言,标准很简单清晰,就是:你主张对学生加负还是减负?

      今天,所有有良知的人,包括老师、包括校长、包括家长、包括社会上一切关心爱护孩子的其他人,都看得很清楚,中国基础教育的主要问题是:孩子太苦了!孩子负担太重了!孩子们几乎根本没有快乐的、健康的、自由的童年!这种把孩子打造成做题工具和考试机器的教育,最终一点用也没有,根本就是在那里摧残孩子,不可能培养出任何真正的人才。

      在就业市场上,在工厂企业中,根本不需要会做题会考试的孩子。在一切用人单位,录用毕业生时,第一看重的、甚至是唯一看重的,就是品德和态度。是阳光的心态,是亲和的性格,是积极向上努力奉献的精神。

      奥数这套把戏,就是在孩子已经非常沉重的负担上,再加上更沉重的杠铃。靠奥数培养不出优秀人才,培养不出创造性人才,更培养不出诺贝尔奖获得者。诺奖获得者丁肇中教授说过,他认识绝大多数诺奖获得者,他们中没有一个是在学校考试中考上第一名的。

      孩子们本能地早已体会到这一切。大部分家长经过沉痛的教训现在也都明白了。因为从根儿上说,家长毕竟是最爱孩子的。他们会本能地会接受一切真正为孩子好、对孩子的长远发展最有利的观念,会抵制一切害孩子、压孩子、苦孩子的伎俩。

      所以,减负,是今天所有孩子、几乎所有家长、所有家庭共同的呼声!一叶知秋,只要看看在《陈老宇博客》上大家评论讨论教育的上千个跟帖,都能深切感受到这一点。

      所以,当温总理在今年的政府工作报告中大声疾呼:”把中小学生从过重的课业负担中解放出来,让学生有更多的时间思考、实践、创造”时,全场响起热烈掌声。每一个孩子,每一位家长,每一位有良心的教师和校长都说:温总理真说出了我们的心里话!

      但是利益集团怎么说呢?只要看看他们在杨东平博客上的跟帖就很清楚。他们正好相反,他们说:现在百分之九十以上的孩子都是不合格的、都是有缺陷的!原因就在于他们负担太轻了!他们做题太少了!他们补课很不够!他们的课外生活还没有被填满!他们还必须接受折腾,他们还必须接受磨砺!对孩子们的负担还要再大大加码!否则他们成不了才!当然,这个对孩子负担大大加码的背后,最重要的一条,就是要向他们大大交上一笔钱!只不过,这话他们没直接说出来,但人人对此心知肚明。

      现在世界上所有现代国家对待十七岁以下的少年儿童,都是连玩带学,以玩为主。最重要的,是在学校和谐自然的环境中,让孩子们感受阳光,感受自我,感受团队,体验和小伙伴亲密相处的快乐,体验集体生活的力量,体验自由思维的幸福,放飞自己的想像和创造的欲望。我见过一些来自美国、英国、日本和韩国的教育家,他们看着中国这样搞基础教育,心情都很复杂微妙。人家不好说你什么,但有一点,他们共同的判断是:按照你们这一套,要培养出诺贝尔奖获得者,恐怕还是五十年后的事情。

      要说,利益集团中的人真不明白这些吗?他们那儿高手云集,许多人通今博古。他们中大多数人心里也是十分明白的。但是,利益呀利益!正如马克思所说,当代表他们贪欲私利的战神被召唤到教育战场上来的时候,这贪欲就会黑心地、疯狂地去吞食一切孩子和家长。

  7. TO:奥数害人

    我认为你的发言动机不好,现在我已经发现,网络上有些中国的网监,故意冒充普通网民作些激励的言论,其目的并不是真正的想反应这个国家存在的问题,而是以此来套博克主人的话,我们要认清这种人,一般,这种人发言的内容,主要是针对人的性情上给予挑拔,但你一但从理志客观上分析这类人的话时,你就会发现,其实他们说的东西都很空洞,并且不可执行。

    王建硕,看来你的文章还是引起网监的注意了。哈哈!你知道错了吧。如果我不提醒你,你会受到了这种人的挑拔吗?

    可能你还不知道,现在抓牙们有多强势。

  8. 对整个中国互联网的封锁控制已经达到了无微不至的地步,从长远和短期上进行信息的封杀,在言论与人的沟通上进行堵绝。其用意只有一个,只许我放屁,不许你点灯。

  9. TO:也许知道

    May 24, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    你这都什么乱七八糟的?

  10. Jianshuo,

    Your post is excellent and to the point. I am very worried about this educational system. And I feel sorry for the parents and their children who have no chance to set themselves free from this vicious system.

  11. Jianshuo, from my daily experience, I can tell you one thing for sure: those Chinese students I worked with are not fit for an academic career either. I have to train them extensively, too.

  12. Carsten, in reading your past posts, I am positive that you’re the kind of person who is completely oblivious to the fact that everybody around you hates your guts.

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