1. Middle income parents don't want children to fall down from the social ladder.
2. Education is still their best bet. Well you definitely have better tools but they don't have access to them (easily).
3. When everyone is competing for better education, it becomes an arms race, with people throwing in literally millions of bucks for
1) (学区房) Apartments that are in good school districts. The usual trick is to purchase a very small apartment (may still cost some 2-3 million USD in Beijing for example for a something like a 20 m^2 one). One recent policy (before this one) is to completely remove those districts and randomly pick schools for the kids (I think it's still based on geography but a larger one)
2) For-profit school (what this news is about). Parents are willing to pay good teachers some 150-200 USD per hour for these schools. Since most For-profit schools just hire the best teachers of the public schools this poses a couple of major issues: A) Teachers are inclined to make as little effort in public education as possible, and B) It poses a tremendous pressure on the parents and the kids, monetary and psychological. Some kids literally burn candle every day, 7/24.
Now you combine all these and no wonder those kids will NEVER want to give birth to their own kids and go over the hell again.
But I don't think these policies will work. The policy-makers are just cutting off the shaft and ignoring the arrow. You see, the competition is still there, and even more because parents have to figure out new ways to join the arms race, which guarantee that they will waste a lot of money trying new things. I figured the whole bureacratics probably received some order from high-up, maybe Xi himself, but chose to do lip service instead of spending real money.
One golden rule about government policy (to tell if it's real or not) is to see whether they are going to spend money on it.
Nobody has the incentive to teach properly. But until I entered the big college, the pretentiousness of 'heavy' education (which is basically making us grunt work because the professors are relatively very unskilled
) and associated stress was low.
And that's one of the "top" colleges of the state. Professors couldn't properly write a java program using threads or collections and had the audacity to tell us to write every program two times __on fucking paper__.
This country's education system is pretentious AF. The institutions are mostly incentivized to sell snake oil to rich urban parents. The urban parents are pushing their kids into a rat race.
Edit: sorry for venting out here.
The number of opportunities in both jobs and universities whose degrees are meaningful is far less than the number of people. And the consequences of not getting one of those opportunities is much bigger than say, in the US.
Students and their parents would need to plan out a career path assuming they don't get into the best schools. They could still spend time and money on education and personal development, but it wouldn't be singularly directed at test prep. Instead, there'd be more focus on developing the foundational knowledge, critical thinking, and diligent habits that promote career success.
These top colleges (in India) are literally a pathway to economic betterment of extended families as they're very affordable (lower income families essentially pay no fees), reasonably good and pretty much guarantee an upper middle class exit. I think introducing any shade of unfairness into this process even if it reflects underlying unfairness of life will damage soceital cohesion.
Source: studied in these colleges and know personally several classmates of very modest means whose extended families benefited from their success. Also personally know a few people in China who have equivalent stories.
We need these things for good reasons, but the skill premium is here to stay. Both in the West and even more so (because differences are so vast, and redistributing incomes is not exactly feasible) in developing countries like China and India.
And as you point out, if it's all or nothing, or massively increasing returns then the people near the cutoff/bend in the curve fight like hell to stay on the right side of the line instead of rebalancing the incentives.
Basically turns education into a lottery where everyone spends lots of money to buy a lot of tickets because there's no sensible alternative. So appropriate that one of the solutions is to run an actual lottery that you can't buy more tickets for.
Banning tuition seems like a surprisingly far-sighted move, wonder what else they'll come up with and how it'll work out.
People still get on absurd levels of debt but there’s a large personal decision component there.
In the last two years, the popularity of foxi (buddha-like apathy) and more recently, tangping (lying flat and abandoning the rat race), show the degree of stress young people are under. Stressed out people are less likely to form families and have children. China needs more children.
Here's a video that discusses the rat race and potential effects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDc8-lNSFR0
It's probably of our own making and not something foreigners do care about - but the problem today is how to make people comfortable at life enough to at least have 2 children, something that is the basis of a functionning society (meaning it can renew itself).
You can have less children if you want, but us I think we need this as a goal: we already do pretty much less than 1 per woman, so we already achieved your dream.
We all will struggle in a long, slow decline, given that the earth will be able to maintain fewer and fewer people in the century to come due catastrophes like global warming.
The "China cannot get weak because that leads to others prospering and we wouldn't want that" thinking is deeply flawed.
Here's a data point: in France, after high school, we're put for two years into a "preparatory class" where we prepare during two years for engineering school entrance exams. Preparatory class selection occurs on high school achievements but don't matter at all: the teaching is roughly the same between the preparatory schools. And, teachers in preparatory schools are usually the best you can find: they're very well paid and hugely respected. Plus, they have to pass an exam where they are filtered on their teaching capabilities. In my two years there, I've had very good teachers. The curiculuum is very intensive. The normal workday is 8am-6pm of regular classes and extends until sleep for most students. It is rough, but long enough so that the only way to survive is to keep a healthy work-life balance. I didn't work a lot during holidays, slept for 9 hours every night and kept partying most weekends but still managed to get into France's second best engineering school. And, private teachers don't help much. The state already employs the best teachers you can find and there's so much school time that it would be hard to find time for private lessons. Furthermore, exams are made in a way that is very hard to game. I still think the best way to go into an elite engineering school is to be genuinely interested in engineering, maths and physics.
Advertisement works and it opens up new market segments that previously are not interested in these things, and in a resource constrained environment (as in the admissions are more or less constant), it forces everyone to act. That and the almost complete bulldozing of the current tutoring infrastructure are going to leave that space blank for a good while - hopefully to some better childhoods at least in the near terms.
It's never about changing it for everyone, if it works on enough families, most families, or even some families, that were previously going to impose that insane tutoring on their kids, then it's worked in the right direction.
Personally, I think this obsession is illogical, a better major is a far better indicator of success than the differences in college a few points of Gaokao are going to make.
Kids will figure that one out quick.
That is not a good thing to teach kids.
it doesn't work this way, because if an action gives you an advantage over your competition, that action will be taken, and only those who don't take that action suffers. Thus, everyone takes action and leads to this arms race.
It is so for advertising for companies. it's the same for private tutoring.
Imagine if they sent their kids to study overseas, exposing them to ideas of western liberal democracies (the idealistic ones, not the bastardized implementations)...
And the way those online education companies are advertising should be simply illegal. Usually advertisements should bring positivity, showcasing the benefits of the products. But in this case, they broadcasting negativity and anxiety to parents, blatantly sending the message that if they don't sign up the courses, their kids would be left behind and have no future. And ofc, they would be happily using the collected money to create more demand, namely even more anxiety.
What those education commolergqates are doing is to drain resources from public service, and reprice them on private market. CCP is playing CCP here, but this crackdown is objectively a good thing for everyone, except the investors.
Just to add some flavour to this, recently a celebrity on a reality TV show complained that 650 RMB (~100USD) per day isn't even enough money to eat and was lampooned on social media for being out of touch with money.
Meanwhile parents in the school rat race are forking out millions of USD in Beijing to try outmanoeuvre each other. That's how BIG education is in china
While I'm sure these measures do some good overall, I hope this doesn't escalate the chinese education system into cultivating a bubble of thought similar to colonial era china. Eventually, they should let the kids be exposed to the thoughts of the wider world when they are of age.
When one path is made harder, the problem (of poor people trying to move up the economic ladder) does not disappear.
All they seem to have done is push this underground. Are the parents who spend so much money on tutoring going to stop? No, I feel it’ll just become more of an informal cash business hiring people over DMs, etc because all of the hyperconpetitive pressures with respect to getting into a top ranked school have not disappeared.
Public examination systems similar to the gaokao are a very old Chinese tradition, so I don't think they're going to do this. It's a matter of national pride to keep such links to China's glorious past in place.
After having been in China for a while, I realize policies there, when enforced, often don't directly target the population. Instead, they always target organisations and businesses. And let them shape the ecosystems people are in.
This is a more efficient way of eroding the (economic and political) power of the masses.
Meanwhile, the affluent and well-connected would always find a way out, either to study in Singapore or attend Harvard.
With the rising xenophobia in China, I wouldn't advise people to do TEFL there anyways.
OT: That’s a super analogy. Is it colloquial in China?
Regarding the apartments in good school districts, how many of these exist? Are the prices this high due to these neighbourhoods being very elite/limited in supply or has Beijing property market gone crazy?
There is also a secondary reason: Chinese high schools teach too little. For instance, high school maths do not cover calculus or linear algebra. In the meantime, only 50% or so high school students could get into university, and about 1% will get into the elite ones (search 985 universities, if you will). Naturally, problems in the National College Entrance Exam become tricky instead of deep. To be honest, they are not that tricky for mathematically inclined, but they are tricky enough for the general public. As a result, students go to tutoring schools to learn how to solve all kinds of hard problems, which again, are not hard any more if they learn more advanced concepts in college. Case in point, the most challenging problems are usually about analytical geometry, which US does not even teach because calculus and linear algebra render this 19th-century subject in a way obsolete.
Bob and Alice have 10 candies in total, and Bob has 2 more candies than Alice. How many candies do Bob and Alice each have?
TAL's solution: this is called addition-subtraction problem. Add the two numbers and divide the sum by two, you get the bigger value for Bob. Subtract the difference from the total and then divide the result by two, and you get the smaller value for Alice. No mention of why. No mention of underlying intuition. No mention of any mathematical concepts. This is the most abhorrent teaching I've ever seen.
(Tangent: Has anyone yet tried to prompt GPT3 to generate "deep" word problems?)
10-3 / 2 = 3.5 candies for Bob.
You may think that's a strange solution, but it's the only one that matches the problem statement. What was your solution?
Considering the problem as follows:
"Bob and Alice have 10 candies in total, and Bob has 2 more candies than Alice. How many candies do Bob and Alice each have?"
My own solution would be to just define the variables as follows:
Bob = Alice + 2;
Bob + Alice = 10;
2xAlice + 2 = 10;
Alice = (has) 4 candies;
Bob = (has) 6 candies.
Adjusting the problem with an odd difference instead of an even number we have:
"Bob and Alice have 10 candies in total, and Bob has 3 more candies than Alice. How many candies do Bob and Alice each have?"
Bob = Alice + 3;
2xAlice + 3 = 10;
Alice = (has) 3.5 candies;
Bob = (has) 6.5 candies.
I find my solution to be easier to understand and somehow more logical than "let's add/substract this and that and divide by two". Probably my main issue was explaining to a kid how having 3.5 and 6.5 candies works seeing candies I known all my life are basically unbreakable (unless you have a kid's teeths which is known to be able to devour metal).
As an anecdote I recently dated a lady who has a teenage daughter and she showed me the math exams her youngling has been taking. Having never been one to withdraw from a challenge, even mildly implied, I printed the things and started working on them only to be horrified how much I've forgotten in terms of elementary mathematics. I genuinely felt shame even though I scored a decent number (but nothing to write home about).
I feel we're failing our children in how we're pumping them with information but without always teaching them how to learn and that makes me really sad :(
Another difference between China and the US is the philosophy towards achievement. The US tends to bias resources towards underachievers, whereas China tends to just give up on them and focus on the overachievers. So again there's pressure to compete, because as soon as you fall behind you'll just be at a further disadvantage because nobody is trying to help you (unless you pay them).
Honestly, the end result is kind of the same in both scenarios - the best and brightest (strongly correlated with wealth) go to elite universities, with the occasional feel-good story about rural kids making it in. They're pretty much set for life, while everyone else is stuck with a useless degree. Although many menial jobs won't hire you unless you have a degree, so it's good for that.
And I’ve never heard that high schools don’t teach calculus. The Chinese people I know who went to the US in later high school years and for college all found that the calculus classes were repetitive for them.
About calculus: https://www.gaokzx.com/c/201901/33164.html
Using the elite students from private schools who you know as a counter argument is really not that strong. Only 14% of the high school students are in private schools.
The top results (for me) all say that it's not literally correct that only 50% of middle school students make it to high school, but most (suspiciously) only mention numbers for Beijing.
https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/368135272 has a table covering every province, showing that the rate goes from 53.11% in Henan to 70.49% in Heilongjiang.
It's interesting that there's no calculus on the gaokao. It's an elective in high school (same as the US). I wouldn't have guessed that. However, some very basic linear algebra does seem to be in the compulsory high school math curriculum(1). More than I learned in high school in the US, anyways.
Also, generally the private schools are considered worse options. The elite students with the highest middle school test scores mostly go to public high schools. Maybe students at the private high schools are more likely to go overseas, and so they are more likely to take the calculus electives. But even among the private school students, only a small percentage will go overseas.
For the vocational school thing, I had no idea it was so extensive. Very interesting. I knew about sports high schools, where most of the graduates go on to teacher colleges and become PE teachers. What other kinds of vocational high schools are there? How does it work for smaller cities - how many special types of vocational school can they really support?
My wife took the art/liberal arts track in high school and most definitely didn’t learn calculus (she still got into one of the best arts academies, though). So at least on that track, you won’t learn calculus (you generally take the same classes together, unlike the USA). I’m not sure about the STEM track, but my bet is first tier Shanghai and Beijing would be way different from a tier 88 like Chenzhou. I also can’t imagine kids at a school like renmin zhongxue not learning calculus, and that’s just a middle school.
Teacher schools (normal universities) require high school. I’m not sure about tourist or sports schools. But the tourist college I visited (in Zhangjiajie) seemed more like a college than the vocational schools I’ve seen. I didn’t ask, though. I assume Beijing Sports university is a real university, but I’m not sure about the other more provincial ones.
OTOH, friends of same age who were in Shanghai did get exposed to linear algebra.
I'm not sure where the original commenter is at in China where 50% are not going to high school. "Ailun" is also right about the private school thing. It's big in China. Finally, the idea that Chinese students are not learning calculus is patent nonsense.
I assume that is because entrance exams are forced not to cover material outside the national high school subjects?
Brazil’s hardest entrance exams (ITA and IME) are not bound in any way, so they go arbitrarily deep.
1- Table 1 and 2 of that document: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/math-per...
My province, the NCEE had Calculus, linear algebra and inequality and it's choose two from three.
Students tend to choose this (if it's availble in that area) because it's generally easy.
And if you're like me, not good at computing numbers, you would choose inequality (mean inequality and Cauchy's Inequality in most cases) as you only need to do some transformation to the problem.
Some students will do matrix if they cannot solve this quick enough.
These were my experience, I do heard that recent education revolution was moving inequality to compulsory but removed Cauchy and so on.
BTW, I don't understand how analytical geometry can be replaced by calculus and linear algebra.
I looked up analytic geometry on Wiki and it looks like stuff that would definitely be taught in the U.S. Usually in the weirdly named "precalculus" course, though some of it would even be covered in previous courses.
I just completed a final interview round for Google and went through 300+ problems on LC. It improved my test taking ability a lot, but in the actual job will be completely useless. Similar to the Chinese children, this artificial testing is getting more and more competitive.
Just wanted to bring it up.
The fact is that most software engineers just don't think interviewing is an important part of their job, so there's no impetuous to improve. They were probably asked leetcode questions when _they_ were interviewed, so that's the established norm.
Goodhart’s law is unbreakable.
In fact, I did exactly that to a company somewhat recently (small fish pretending to be FAANG rockstars) though without the laughing bit.
I've not interviewed at a single company in the bay area where this is true.
Until the underlying incentives (= having a single exam basically decide your life) are fixed, this move in China seems equally likely to be ineffective.
It's harder to get society to value college degrees less, but I don't see much changing unless there are many stable, low/medium-risk business opportunities available to those with degrees from lower-ranked schools.
It feels like they are just addressing a symptom, and not trying to tackle the larger issue...so I'm curious why they would do that
Although a few decades into the industrial society and with the purge of traditional mindsets during the Cultural Revolution, they are not easy to be removed.
The old saying is 万般只有读书高, which basically translates to "Read books and pass your exams and you are going to have a bright future". This reflects the fact that ancient Chinese needed to pass some state exams to be selected as officials. In ancient Chinese (and today still in some parts of China), being "in the bureaucratic system" is the best thing.
Practically skills were looked down (I actually think it was a lot better back in the 50s~80s when people with practical skills were more or less not looked down, but things started to come back in recent decades), Merchants were looked down (but nowadays they enjoy higher status thanks to Capitalism). As a matter of fact, schools that teach practical skills (技校) are looked down and it's a lot easier to get into than the universities.
It's definitely not black and white nowadays (after all we went through a few revolutions in the last century), but the mindset is still there IMHO. It's just buried deep. I'd actually argue that the same mindset can be found in American parents too (Do you want to do X in the future like BoB?)
You are 100% right about just addressing the symptom and that's the what Humphreys do best.
I used to teach in China and one of the things I noticed that doesn't get attention is the impact of the one-child policy on that one child. You had a largely socialist system that turned largely capitalist so you have all these parents nearing the end of their careers without much to show for it (because they grew up in a largely socialist system) and their main shot at a better life is a single child that they expect to support them beyond what the state provides as they age. This is a recipe for a ridiculous amount of pressure parents put on their single child, and that single child is aware that they have the future burden of supporting two parents in the future. It was really enlightening to witness these consequences first hand.
Actually a lot of people noticed because the previous generation usually have a lot of siblings, like 3-4 are not uncommon.
Agree with you on the other points. The one-child policy is controversial but TBH I'm not in the position to shed more light on this policy. Back then people seemed to be really worried about over-population and others.
I'm not sure how this is going to play out. Population estimation seems to be pretty difficult to do it correctly because there are so many variables. But we will see.
At first I thought this was the typical “let’s be equal by slowing down over-achievers,” as we see this more and more in the west as well.
It’s crazy to me that this ‘after school study’ was identified as a major reason for declining birth rates, as if decades of policy and the ensuing culture could turn on a dime and the government could ramp womb production by 250% from the party offices.
It is again another example of superficial interpretation of what's happening in China.
Benefits of for profit off school tutoring of core subjects like Chinese literature, math, English have been debated for a lot time in China by educators, academics and government officials. And there were study and theories that those tutoring have no link to actual academic benefits. There were such studies in China, Germany, Korea and many other countries.
For profit k-12 tutoring companies have been using all means to drive up parents' anxieties of fearing their children to be left behind if not to take the courses.
And because of fierce competitions, most smaller k-12 tutoring companies couldn't survive and they often make a big sales push to collect as much tuition, as much as tens of thousands of RMB per child before they close and run. It happened so many times that media lost interest in them.
Chinese government always plays heavy hands in market. This is no different. But the decision itself isn't as simple and sensational as to boost child birth.
If you're opposed to banning this on an ideological ideal of freedom that's one thing I certainly empathize with, but I honestly think this will greatly benefit overachievers at the relative détriment of middling students.
The admission numbers are not changing because of tutoring, so all of it was zero sum game waste. And a huge burden on parents and children themselves.
Why is that the only metric? Why not average learning level? Or the average interest in science? Or the number of grad school applicants?
I ask this because i have trouble seeing extra time spent in education as zero sum wastage.
The subjects are highschool level - it's half rote memorization and half trick math and physic questions that using calculus are going to make 1000% more easy but are not allowed because calculus are not a highschool subject.
It's a huge waste of resource and time.
if those studying made the intelligence of said person higher, then it's not a waste. It might be inefficient (because there may be faster ways to raise intelligence than these sorts of studying), but it's strictly better than not studying.
Otherwise, by the same argument, people going to the gym and "wasting" their time doing body building or training when they're not professional athletes are wasting their time.
Everyone can cram the test and that's not going to create more college admissions. Nor does it 'raise intelligence', it just flat out don't.
going to the gym for exercise vs bodybuilding is different. I'm specifically talking about people doing bodybuilding or training for specific purpose without being a professional athlete, rather than regular exercise.
You're just asserting that one thing has benefits, while denying another thing has any benefits. All i'm saying is that your cultural bias is clouding your judgement because studying for tests is the same as bodybuilding - the person chose to do it, therefore it has benefits for themselves. And how do you know studying for tests don't raise intelligence? you at least get more knowledge.
It's like to learn how to describe the same thing with many different methods.
Sure, it's not entirely a waste time that the tutoring can teach some interesting aspects. But at the end of the day, it does not teach anything that was not already covered in the school teaching.
And we all know that Chinese students in US tend to limit their thinking in narrow scope. Then why not let the students to absorb non curriculum staff outside of the class, therefore eliminating most of the tutoring.
The cram school is being evaluated by one metric and one metric only: how much boost can it offer to the kids' test score.
I'd like to know where this explanation is coming from. Is that something that the CCP actually stated somewhere, or is the the author assuming?
Link in Chinese:
(We will monitor the frequencies and fees of extracurricular tutoring for students. In order to balance the educational cost on families and schools, we will strictly govern out-of-school tutoring.)
Declining birth rate is definitely a major metric that the Chinese government is secretly watching closely. There are reports that Beijing is hiding all birth rates by region https://www.reddit.com/r/China/comments/mritl5/breaking_xinj.... Also, Nikkei reports that newborns are down 18% y/y https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/China-s-population-growth-sl.... And the recent government relaxation to 3 kids have been mocked by the netizens in China as pointless. IMO, China will not be able to reduce falling birth rate with any government policies, since most families have been indoctrinated with 1-child policy for decades.
Attack on private tech companies The attacks on Alibaba, Tencent, Didi and others are two fold: to reduce individuals power within the CCP controlled economy, and to remove their potential to list abroad so as to reduce capital outflow. The trend is for these Chinese tech companies to weaken in the upcoming decades.
Something that wasn't mentioned in the article, but warrants a strong mention. Reduce free thinkings. The Chinese government have been introducing mao-era communist party thinkings into public schools. (or brainwash, whichever). The shutting down of private schools will enable the public schools to exert even more power on the kids. This is also in line with the Chinese government shutting down mosques and churches in recent times.
Also something else bears mentioning in the context of this: Chinese government is actively reducing the number of uyghur births. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57383548.
tl;dr Once the U.S. listing is successful, the investor's return is in U.S. dollars. If funds return to China, they will enjoy various preferential treatments for overseas capital. Of course, it is also possible not to return to China and to be divided among the bigwigs hidden in investment institutions. Therefore, overseas listing for cash is an important way of capital outflow.
Incidently, the recent bitcoin shutdown by the Chinese government is also partly due to capital outflow concerns
"The “lying flat” movement was jumpstarted in April when a post on Baidu titled “Lying Flat Is Justice” went viral on the platform. A manifesto of renunciation, the post shared the author’s lessons from two years of joblessness. The extraordinary stresses of contemporary life, the author concluded, were unnecessary, the product of the old-fashioned mindset of the previous generation. It was possible, even desirable, he argued, to find independence in resignation: “I can be like Diogenes, who sleeps in his own barrel taking in the sun.” Discussions about “lying flat” picked up pace in May, as young Chinese, over-worked and over-stressed, weighed the merits of relinquishing ambition, spurning effort, and refusing to bear hardship."
The TLDR is that younger Chinese are burned out the with idea of working themselves to death at a chance for success, and as has happened with many first world countries, the cost of what is deemed success (homes, children) is too damn high.
Of cuz, one can say that tutoring crams the students so that they are dilussioned of the value of education and further the societal doctrine.
But it simply is not a good reasoning...
I just talked to my friends back in China, they don't say anything about students being part of the movement.
Burnout from stressful non-physical office works is a well established concept, though not yet widely agreed to also happen on kids.
Basically if you keep a person in an office to attend meetings and conferences for 12 hours a day for 5-10 years, some functions of the brain ends its life and the person won’t be able to take on certain tasks. That’s what it is IMO.
Like many developed countries have done, birth rates boosting is often hard to achieve.
Therefore, by cracking down on this industry, there is a chance to actually reduce the cost of raising a child, which is the main impediment to natality.
I think the other posters are right; it's an added expense for parents and a zero sum game. It's in nobody's interest to allow this to continue.
The government should be able to provide enough education to anyone who needs it. But to do that they need many teachers. Somebody must educate the teachers. More learning overall grows the intellectual capacity of the whole nation, it is not a zero-sum game.
I seriously think this is about Chinese Government not wanting its population to be educated in Western values.
The students at these "academies" are not being given a robust education in mathematics, science, philosophy or the languages - let alone Western values.
They are rote-learning an extremely narrow type of problem that appears on the gaokao (university entrance exam) - literally hundreds of the same type of exam questions over and over in order to gain an advantage over their peers (hence the "zero-sum" comment).
This comes at the expense of their mental health as well as other, more enriching (and idealogically dangerous!) activities such as socialising with their friends, helping their family with household duties or engaging in rich discussions online.
You could draw a long bow and argue that this stabilises the CCP's power by reducing the drive to protest of angry students who have not been accepted into the universities of their choice, but it has nothing to do with suppressing education or intellectual value.
Sounds like the problem is with the gatekeeping exam and limited amount of good quality universities(aka money problem).
How does banning a practice reduce students stress? They still have to compete in order to get into these limited seat universities with the same exam that you say are easily game-able.
I highly doubt people will just ignore a path that exists that can get them there, so we will have to wait and see what happens with the parents' economic stress.
I'd actually guess that a ban on for-profit tutoring is a larger risk for the CCP. Students spending their time unsupervised could lead to more "unwanted though" than students spending their time memorizing and reasoning around well-vetted facts about how governments work or about the history of Confucianism.
Which is a zero sum game.
The solution then would not be to forbid the cram-schools, but the universities which apply that kinds of bad acceptance criteria. No?
You people can really spin anything China related to a conspiracy. The Cold War propaganda machine has worked really well. Get a grip.
Lots of western nations that have a 20y head start on China for measures to boost the birth rate but not much success all around, so I wonder if it's gonna be any different.
Anecdotally, a lot of my friends either chose not to have kids even though they were financially able to do so, or 'only' had one kid later in life after they checked a bunch of life goals off their list. And of course there's a segment of friends who never found anyone to partner with.
Furthermore, it feels like the checklist in what people are looking for in a life partner is more complicated now than ever, which can increase the amount of time it takes for a person to find a partner to have a child with. I assume that's a good thing as it may reduce the likelihood of divorce by resulting in a more ideal match, but it potentially comes at a cost of spending TONS of time filtering via messaging, dates, etc. It took me a whopping five years before meeting someone online that actually felt like something with a real future.
If you really want to boost childbirths, give people some hope for tomorrow that we have any capacity to deal with the most immediate existential threats and that their children won't be hunting cockroaches in some Mad Max world.
Where I live the externalizations are going gangbusters, and I believe this to be true in most other places. Boomers are insanely rich with decent property portfolios (bought before the interest rate plunges, then used as leverage to borrow more and buy more after the plunge) and their children - even a lot of successful ones - can barely afford shoebox apartments with sticker prices fast approaching one million dollars. The stock market is long-term up despite their being no rational explanation - no significant increase in dividends - other than the large increase in money supply due to the cheap rate to borrow, not to mention all the other insane financial "instruments" invented after the official interest rate hit near zero (QE, emergency "loans" to the super rich that will likely never be repaid). Businesses are enjoying ridiculous valuations but yet complain about their staffing costs. The total absence of any real increase in the median salary. (I know here on HN we worship the overachiever with six-figure salaries at FAANGs that start with a number > 1 but it is sociopathic not to consider the life experience of average or "normal" people in our society. They are our neighbours after all.) Insane immigration levels in the presence of declining prosperity for citizens is another side-effect of an inflation-driven economy.
This explains why the birth rates are low in Western and prosperous Far East nations (China, Japan, Korea). And how the birth rates for newly arrived immigrants declines from that of their home country. The side-effect phenomena are strikingly similar.
I agree that the connection between tutoring and birth rates is difficult to see.
A couple of years ago I worked at a small education technology company. One of the things we did was help tuition companies hire native English speakers, mostly based in the US, who would teach English to Chinese kids via various online platforms.
At one point the Chinese government restricted how much money the tuition companies could demand upfront. (I believe some of them were making parents pay 6+ months tuition at a time.) Then there was a qualifications crackdown, with the government getting fussier about the qualifications held by the foreign tutors and talking about some kind of registration process.
At the time it seemed obvious that the government wanted tighter control over the tuition companies. But a total ban on that style of tuition (from non-Chinese tutors living outside China) is still a surprise.
“ Among other things, they also ban the teaching of foreign curriculums, tighten scrutiny over the import of textbooks and forbid the hiring of foreign teachers outside of China -- a curb that could have severe consequences for startups like VIPKid that specialize in overseas tutors. The government also ordered local authorities to tighten approvals for companies providing training on extra-curricul
Read more at: https://www.bloombergquint.com/markets/china-bans-school-cur...
Copyright © BloombergQuint”
One sentiment I have heard from US short sellers is that if Chinese companies defraud US investors, Chinese market regulators don't care and US market regulators can't enforce anything even if they are forced to care. But if Chinese companies defraud domestic Chinese investors, then Chinese regulators may react strongly to take action against the offending companies or executives .
There are also complications with how Chinese firms listed on US stock exchanges are audited. Francine McKenna writes a lot about complications with audit (not specifically about ADRs) at her newsletter https://thedig.substack.com/
There are some interesting perspectives in the wolfpack research podcast -- esp e.g. episode 3 & episode 8: https://wolfpackresearch.com/podcast/
 there is an anecdote about one company that was selling shares to both US investors and their elderly Chinese employees without telling each group that shares in the company were also being sold to the other group, i.e. so both groups of investors were being lied to about the total amount of shares outstanding -- apparently one of the directors responsible for the fraud was taken out and shot.
Also, China doesn’t tax capital gains, so the dynamics for making money are really different than in the states.
Wouldn't be so quick with that label. The German basic law plainly states "Preparatory schools shall remain abolished", with the straight forward justification that education is a universal human right, should be equally accessible to all, and there should be no privilege that funnels upper-class kids through the school system. (Which was the primary reason for the existence of the so-called Vorschule, before 1919).
Abolishing these kinds of systems and banning them seems honestly right to me and meritocratic.
A better way to decrease inequality would seem to me progressive taxation whose proceeds can be used to provide high-quality education to anybody who wants it and is capable of studying hard.
In market economy teaching is a commodity so those who are capable of providing better quality education should be rewarded for it. That should be regulated however, so we really know who is providing better quality education.
It's the same way when I follow discourse about "YIMBY-ism" in the US. People say "Gosh I love the market I just wish we had the right regulations", yet it's exactly the reliance on private-property value as an asset that makes it so homeowners want to restrict supply. And they have all the political power, so you'll never get the regulations.
If this was done in the EU or the US everyone would be spinning it as being a boon for children, finally allowing them to live their best lives while they are young and equalising opportunity across the wealth spectrum. But because it's China it's "authoritarian".
These schools aren't providing education. It's not about actually improving yourself. It's about getting the highest possible score on the gaokao, nothing else at all.
If they were actually helping students further their education I'd agree with you.
I've been to these kinds of schools and I have friends who did for even longer, and they really, really suck. It doesn't help you in any way, I'd say it's a net negative in terms of education for most.
I've gone to a lot of private school and I think it's terrible bfor society, and I bet my history teachers would agree.
Is more money a sufficient answer? Or even part of the answer?
It seems neither to me - it’s based on the false equating of school with education and it creates a totalitarian state monopoly on education.
> Among other things, they also ban the teaching of foreign curriculums, tighten scrutiny over the import of textbooks and forbid the hiring of foreign teachers outside of China -- a curb that could have severe consequences for startups like VIPKid that specialize in overseas tutors. The government also ordered local authorities to tighten approvals for companies providing training on extra-curriculum subjects.
I felt dirty doing it as the only students who could afford to attend were from well-off families, and I felt that the (albeit probably small) edge gained by these students might mean someone else more deserving would not be offered a uni placement.
This seems similar to universities eliminating the SAT.
They aren't doing away with competitive admissions so the reasons for doing it remain intact, just making the rules muddy, unclear, and only known by select people.
This lack of blue-collar workers, and this water-head of white-collar workers (which is west-typical) and the economic desperation it creates, is also a driving force behind the uighur forced-factory-labour camps.
Back in the day while I still knew some folks who would not pay for these after school coaching classes, it looks like now it's uncommon for middle class kids to not have atleast a few of these to go to after school.
You will probably never need to know that the mitochondria is the power house of the cell, but if you can learn things quickly, you will be more likely to have a successful career.
(English version is heavily condensed, dated incorrect? - http://en.moe.gov.cn/documents/laws_policies/202105/t2021051... )
By far their biggest threat is students studying at foreign universities. I would have thought this is the number one issue to address, perhaps they can't yet.
Body count is important.
If you believe in Keynesianism, exports are hardly needed for a baseline-mostly-closed economy because can boost demand locally. (Tech transfer is another thing, granted.) But it you want to get your elites rich and keep your workers in check, export all the stuff so living standards don't rise so much with the extra work.
Private English tuition is/was? the bedrock of western values in China.
It's where mundane, textbook, multi-choice English taught in schools gets emotional cadence, individualism, expression and creativity.
The govt wants English to be computer code as it's taught in public schools.
It will disincentive regular schools even more to be decent
because students will have absolutely no alternatives.
Back in my country (not China) when I was young, these for-profit schools were 10x more competent than any normal school. Because they were not mandatory and had competition.
Also, I have no idea what specifics are, but forbidding people teaching math and collecting money is going to be tricky.