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Chinas Educational System - Essay Example

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Education is the food for the mind. One cannot postpone the supply of food for the mind. Postponement of education supply may lead to undernourishment or malnournishment crippling the capacity of an individual to do his/her fullest potentials. This may eventually lead to an ailing society and an unprogressive nation…
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Chinas Educational System
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Download file to see previous pages In an age where globalization is taking place, one cannot afford to be left behind. Investing to the youth as they are the future leaders is the starting point.
Surely, China realizes the importance of education. It is a nation rich in cultures and traditions. It is also one of the richest countries in the world. Through education, they have found the right solutions to mix their heritage and the demand for staying competitive against their neighboring countries. However, the changes did not happen overnight. Throughout the course of its history, China experienced a lot of transitions in leadership and form of government. The results affected different aspects in their society including the educational system. At present, China's education caters to almost 25% of the world's students. Even if it has the largest educational system, China is still finding ways to enhance the quality of education by continuously revising the curriculum. The purpose of this paper is to trace the historical development of China's educational system. It will primarily focus on the significant changes that have shaped the course of the system over time.
Many historians recorded that formal schooling in China started way back during the Xia Dynasty (16th century B.C.). However, the type of educational system, also called Imperial education, was observed until the late 17th century. The concentration of the learning system is only for the rich and elite members of the society. These people are trained and prepared to be China's government officials. The subjects are all centered based on the "Six Arts" connected to their culture: Riding Chariots, Music, Arts, Archery, Math, History and Rites. They are also taught to excel in ancient written and spoken Chinese language. During Spring, Autumn and Warring State times, teachings of Confucianism is integrated in their studies. Students learn concepts on governance and citizenry, and codes for personal conduct (China Education Center). Confucianism has a great effect on the lives of Chinese people at that time. Their standards of living are guided by the codes set forth in the instructions within in this religion. The ultimate goal is to become a gentleman, one who does what is good, noble and just. However not everyone can be a gentleman. It was restricted to the upper class. A gentleman has the power to impose Chinese cultures and make rules for the society (China Education Center). Thus, money has power.
The imperial government also established civil service examination to determine those who are qualified to be imperial officials. These tests contain open ended questions that would test the student's knowledge on Confucian teachings (Surowski 2003). For more than a thousand years the civil service exam is the only way to get a government position for the elite class. Since education favored only those who can afford it, illiteracy rate in China went up to about 80%. The underprivileged are forced to work in different areas at a very young age. Society was governed by highly educated rich people and a growing number of uneducated mass (Net Industries 2008).
The 18th century
At the turn of the next century, China made important technological advances like gun powder, compass and paper. The Chinese people felt that they already had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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