Children’s free time
Many children like to go shopping, especially in the huge shopping malls in big cities. They like to surf the Internet, although almost everything is checked here. Nevertheless, they can exchange ideas with their friends. To do this, they often sit with their laptops in American fast food chains such as McDonalds and surf the web for free.
Many children in China play computers and unfortunately some of them get really addicted to it. That is why there are now hundreds of so-called “boot camps” in China, in which the children are cured of their addiction with a lot of discipline and punishment.
Wedding in kindergarten
Since we know that it is not easy for Chinese boys to find a wife (there are many more men than women), weddings, the “baby weddings”, are now being celebrated in kindergartens. Behind this is the parents’ hope that the playful couples from kindergarten will continue to love each other later and get married at some point. Fortunately, this is not a real marriage and should be understood more symbolically. However, you have to wait another 20 years to see if that works.
When the little ones take care of the big ones
Children used to look after their parents when they were old. Now there aren’t that many children left to look after their parents. People are getting older, but there are too few young people who on the one hand pay money into the state coffers and can later look after the old. A social system that can take care of everyone is not affordable.
The term karaoke does not come from China, but from Japan and means “empty orchestra”. But not only the Japanese, the Chinese love karaoke too. A text is faded in to a melody, which is then sung, that’s how karaoke works. The singer only hears the music and can sing along to the lyrics. In China, such events can also take place in the park. There are always people who take part.
Majiang games in China
This game is very popular in China, a country located in Asia according to thefreegeography, where it is better known as Mah-jongg or Mahjong. In the translation it is called “Sparrow Game”. There are 136 or 144 pieces, also called “bricks”, which have different colors and meanings. There are many different rules for the game that you have to know first. The aim is to get a complete game picture at the end, in which you draw stones and discard them. The complete game picture must contain as valuable figures as possible and consist of four figures and a pair. At the end you call out “Majang” or “Mah-Jongg”. Have a look in your games closet, maybe your parents even have the game, then you can try it out.
In the crèche and in kindergarten
Before starting primary school, parents can send their children to a day nursery from the age of two months. There are kindergartens for children aged two to six. The kindergartens are similar to all-day schools. Here the children are already being prepared for attending primary school. It’s pretty strict, because obedience plays a big role in raising children in China. Many Chinese believe that you can’t start early enough. The Chinese kindergartens are also divided into age groups. These kindergartens are not completely free of charge and often there are not enough places. Those who have more money available send their children to a private kindergarten, which can be quite expensive.
Schooling has been compulsory in China since 1986, and all children should go to school. This schooling is compulsory for nine years. First, Chinese children go to primary school, which corresponds to our primary school. They then go to middle school. All children have to attend this type of school up to the ninth grade. At the end of the ninth grade, it depends on the children’s performance. In the end, they decide whether the children can continue to attend school and move on to upper school. The school costs nothing up to the tenth grade, but then the parents have to pay school fees. Those who attend a private school, the quality of which is usually better, have to dig deeper into their pockets and have to pay more money.
All pretty early
When Chinese children attend primary school – our elementary school – at the age of six, they have already learned arithmetic, reading and writing in preschool.
Learning on vacation
In China, like in Germany, the school year is divided into two half-years. Children in China get around 14 weeks of vacation. However, many Chinese children also study during their holidays, as the pressure to get good grades is very high. There is often homework even during the summer holidays.
In the country and in the city
There are big differences between schools. Schools in the major cities of the country look very different from schools in the country. However, eight out of ten elementary and middle school students attend these rural schools, which often only have one blackboard. The children sit at simple, mostly old tables and have little material to study. Other schools are much better equipped, have computer rooms, and promote science learning.
What is the lesson like?
The start of school on Monday is usually initiated by a ritual. The students gather in the school yard, the Chinese flag is hoisted and everyone sings the Chinese national anthem together. Not infrequently there is also gymnastics as an introduction. The children often have to be at school by 7 a.m. to tidy up or clean up. If you have to walk a long way to school, you have to get up early to get to school on time. School starts at 7:30 a.m.
After school, learning continues
When school ends, it is far from over for Chinese children. Not for Germans either, you might say. But in China there is not only homework, but nine out of ten children attend a so-called tutoring school after school, which is quite normal. Only after this school, in which they deepen the subject matter, do their normal homework. So many children don’t go to bed until around 11 p.m., only then is everything done. Many children feel very pressured. Only those who perform very well can attend one of the very good Chinese schools. Those who have lower grades will go to a “worse school” and will therefore have worse chances in the future.
The Chinese point system
By the way, in China there are no grades, but points. 100 points per subject is the best performance. A test is only passed from 60 points. After the tests, the results are also posted in the classroom. Anyone with a good score is likely to be happy about it. Everyone else is less happy.
In addition to the normal lessons, many children also take extra lessons in music, dancing or other foreign languages.
And on Sunday?
Chinese children also meet up with their friends on Sundays. But often enough they do homework together.
Homework from parents
The Chinese government considered giving the children less homework. The children were happy, the parents weren’t, because they were afraid that their children would then learn less and not be able to attend a good school in the end. This would mean that their chances of getting a good education and getting a well-paid job would be worse. So now they give their children their own homework. By the way, Chinese children go to school Monday through Saturday.
Gaokao – what is that?
After the twelfth grade, there is an exam in China that is the same for all Chinese students. This exam is called Gaokao. Those who achieve a high score in this test can study at a university. This is very important for many families. Because of the Chinese “one-child policy”, many parents only have one child and of course they want to offer it a good path into the future. This examination decides at which university the young people are allowed to study. These tests last two days and then there is a state of emergency in the country. Students prepare for it for a long time. The pressure on the children is very great. Some get really sick from it.
Chinese students are very hardworking, they are very obedient and mostly there is what is known as frontal teaching. The teacher stands at the front of the blackboard and the students listen to the teacher’s words in the classroom. Drill and rigor are simply part of it. Accumulating drums and factual knowledge come first. Creative thinking and critical inquiry are nowhere near as important as memorization. Chinese students hardly know anything about working together. Making mistakes is one of those things; if you commit one, you run the risk of being laughed at. So many children find it difficult to express their own opinion. Are you always in danger of saying something “wrong”? In some classes there are 60 students.