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China Must Advance Education Values
Author:Liu Daoyu  Date:2014-01-20  Clicks:

Wuhan University

The purpose of education is to enlighten and liberate people. Education should protect freedom, cultivate interests, master knowledge, inspire wisdom, build faith and deepen happiness.

The beginning of the 1990s was an important turning point in the development of China’s higher education. In China, it only took 8 years to complete the wide-spread popularization of higher education while in Western nations, it usually took 50 to 100 years.

The quick development has promoted China’s education quality, but caused problems as well. It is heartbreaking to read news about a student using false documents, academic plagiarism by scholars and corruption in universities.

All these problems are attributable to a dearth of education values. The “industrialization” in education is very prevalent. For example, despite that quality-oriented education has been promoted for 20 years, yet, exam-oriented education remains the modus operandi for schools, for the parents and children. What is the reason behind? Schools need to enhance students’ graduation rate and parents have high expectation for children’s placement in higher level schools. Children want to stand out and make a difference. Education influences everyone, but most of them do not press education reform. The reality is that people still actively participate in exam-oriented education.

It is said that parents are the first teachers for children. But what values do parents pass to the children? Grades or competence? Honesty or cheating? Dependence or independence? Parents’ concept of educational value influences that of children. School is also the place from where students learn values. Therefore, I call on parents to free your children and teachers to free your students!

Generally, there are traditional and modern, right and wrong concepts of educational values. In China, traditional concept of educational values holds sway over modern ones. The traditional concept of educational value, centers on Confucian culture, characterized by practicality over theory, diploma over competence, tradition over innovation, and educational instrumental value over its inner value.

Notably, prevailing negative values that exist in modern Chinese society, money-oriented lifestyle, utilitarianism and individualism exerted the bad influence on educational value concept.

Since many problems stem from promoting the wrong values in education, it is urgent to systematically improve Chinese education value. To establish the right educational value, we need to get the education back to its original function and create an environment that focuses on developing intelligent students and academic research.

I sincerely hope that schools and universities in China reflect on themselves and take its responsibility and effort towards establishing better education values in China.

Source:People's Daily

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