Archive for ‘parents’

21/02/2019

Chinese schools under fire after demanding parents pay for tablets

  • Students at one middle school were told they could join an ‘experimental class’ if they paid US$590 for a designated device
  • That class was later scrapped because of a lack of interest, while the principal of the other school clarified that its plan was not compulsory

Chinese schools under fire after demanding parents pay for tablets

21 Feb 2019

Parents took to social media asking why they had to buy a new tablet when they already had one, and questioning why a specific model was needed. Photo: Alamy
Parents took to social media asking why they had to buy a new tablet when they already had one, and questioning why a specific model was needed. Photo: Alamy
Two schools in northern China have come under fire from parents after they were asked to spend thousands of yuan on tablets for their children’s studies, with one forced to cancel its plan for an “experimental class” due to a lack of interest.

At that school, paying for the device would have given a student a place in a top class where they had access to the best resources.

Earlier this week, Yuying School in Yongnian county, Hebei province demanded 3,000 yuan (US$450) from parents of Year Seven students so that tablets could be bought to assist their studies, Red Star News reported on Wednesday.

They were told via a message on social network WeChat from one of the teachers. It said students should bring the money on Thursday – the first day of the new term – because the private school wanted to “teach using tablets to improve classroom efficiency”. Screenshots of the message have been circulating on social media.

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But some parents were against the idea, asking on the WeChat group why they had to buy a new tablet when they already had one, and questioning why a specific model was needed.

“We have several tablets at home – can’t my child use one of them at school?” one parent asked.

Another wrote: “I’m just wondering if this tablet is really worth 3,000 yuan.”

The reaction prompted school principal Li Jinxi to clarify on Wednesday that the tablet purchase was not mandatory, and staff had “misunderstood the policy”, according to the report.

“There could be some minor impact for those students who don’t buy the tablet but it won’t be a big deal because we will also continue to use traditional teaching methods,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, at Gongyi No 1 Senior High school in Henan province, students were told they could join an “experimental class” if they paid 3,980 yuan for a designated tablet, according to a report on news app Kuaibao on Tuesday.

The school had contacted some of its top students to take part in its “smart class cloud teaching experiment”, the report said.

But the Gongyi education bureau later posted a statement on Weibo, saying only about 70 of the school’s 520 students had signed up for the plan so the school had decided to scrap the idea and would refund the money to parents.

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The school was not the first in China to give students a chance to enter a top class if they bought tablets. In 2015, a school in Longkou, Shandong province told students that those who did not pay for a tablet would end up in “ordinary classes”. After the move caused uproar, the school ended up offering a free three-month trial of the devices, with students then able to choose whether to buy one or not – a decision that would not affect which class they got put in.

Source: SCMP

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10/02/2019

Chinese children miss out on winter holiday as parents send them back to class

  • Manager of private tuition centre in eastern city of Hangzhou says demand from parents has been ‘overwhelming’
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 February, 2019, 6:12pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 February, 2019, 6:12pm
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While most schoolchildren in the east China city of Hangzhou spent last week’s Lunar New Year holiday visiting relatives and opening cash-filled red envelopes, others found themselves taking extra lessons at a privately run tuition centre.

The manager of the company, surnamed Wong, said business had been brisk over the holiday period.

“Usually students have a week’s break for Lunar New Year, but not those who are sitting the gaokao,” he said, using the informal name for the National Higher Education Entrance Examination.

Demand for extra tuition from parents whose children were preparing for the test had been “overwhelming”, he said.

The cost of lessons during the holiday period was 250 yuan (US$37) per hour, Wong said, adding that most students had four lessons a day.

Chinese schoolchildren get a month’s holiday in the winter, which incorporates the national Lunar New Year break.

Wong’s centre does not just cater for older children. According to a report by local newspaper Metro Express, a woman surnamed Lu paid for her son, who goes to primary school, to have extra lessons in mathematics and science.

“Many children spend their whole winter holiday studying,” she said, but added that she had allowed her son to have last week off.

Another woman was quoted in the report as saying she had signed her child, who also goes to primary school, up for nine classes.

There are no laws against the operation of private tuition centres in China but they are governed by certain regulations. For instance, they cannot recruit people whose primary job is as a teacher and they are not allowed to teach classes beyond what the children have already learned in school.

China’s education ministry last year launched a review of more than 400,000 tuition centres and found problems of one sort or another at 65 per cent of them.

In the wake of that assessment, authorities in the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, and the provinces of Shanxi, Liaoning and Zhejiang said they had rectified the problem. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang.

According to a report by Xinhua, a secondary school student from Shanghai, nicknamed Xiao Ma, said she had to get up at 6.30am every day during the winter holiday to get to her extra lessons by 8.30am.

“I don’t ask for a lot,” she said. “I just wish there were a few days when I could get a bit more sleep and have time to see my friends.”

Source: SCMP

07/02/2019

India man to sue parents for giving birth to him

Mr Samuel says he remembers first having anti-natalist thoughts when he was five.

“I was a normal kid. One day I was very frustrated and I didn’t want to go to school but my parents kept asking me to go. So I asked them: ‘Why did you have me?’ And my dad had no answer. I think if he’d been able to answer, maybe I wouldn’t have thought this way.”

As the idea grew and took shape in his mind, he decided to tell his parents about it. He says his mum reacted “very well” and dad too “is warming up” to the idea.

Image from Nihilanand Facebook page saying you owe your parents nothingImage copyrightNIHILANAND

“Mum said she wished she had met me before I was born and that if she did, she definitely wouldn’t have had me,” he says laughing and adds that she does see reason in his argument.

“She told me that she was quite young when she had me and that she didn’t know she had another option. But that’s what I’m trying to say – everyone has the option.”

In her statement, his mother also said it was unfair to focus on a “sliver of what he believes in”.

“His belief in anti-natalism, his concern for the burden on Earth’s resources due to needless life, his sensitivity toward the pain experienced unwittingly by children while growing up and so much more has been ruefully forgotten.

“I’m very happy that my son has grown up into a fearless, independent-thinking young man. He is sure to find his path to happiness.”

Mr Samuel says his decision to take his parents to court is only based on his belief that the world would be a much better place without human beings in it.

So six months ago, one day at breakfast, he told his mother that he was planning to sue her. “She said that’s fine, but don’t expect me to go easy on you. I will destroy you in court.” Mr Samuel is now looking for a lawyer to take up his case, but so far he’s not had much success.

“I know it’s going to be thrown out because no judge would hear it. But I do want to file a case because I want to make a point.”

His Facebook posts have also attracted a lot of responses, “some positive, but mostly negative” with some even advising him to “go kill yourself”. He has also had worried mums asking him what would happen if their children see his posts.

“Some argue logically, some are offended and some are offensive. To those abusing me, let them abuse me. But I also hear from many who say they support me but can’t say this publicly for whatever reasons. I ask them to come out and speak up,” he says.

His critics also say that he’s doing this to get some publicity.

“I’m not really doing this for publicity,” he says, “but I do want the idea to go public. This simple idea that it’s okay to not have a child.”

I ask him if he is unhappy being born.

“I wish I was not born. But it’s not that I’m unhappy in my life. My life is good, but I’d rather not be here. You know it’s like there’s a nice room, but I don’t want to be in that room,” he explains.

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