‘School is Easy Tutoring’ owner, Susan Cumberland and her family visited Xia He Elementary School in Xian, China this July 2012 and gave a donation to the school principal. What a great experience.
The children were a little shy but slowly warmed up enough to practice a few phrases in English such as “I am from China. My name is ____.” It wasn’t the most stimulating conversation, but it was a good start for a group of children who very rarely get a chance to speak with foreigners.
In this school, there are 29 children per class. In city schools, the class sizes range between 30 – 50 students per class. In the past 10 years education in China has improved dramatically. The literacy rate in China is now 82%. But, prior to 1999, the literacy rate in China was as low as 20%. Parents had to pay for their children to go to school and this of course meant that children with parents of low income did not get a chance to attend school. In the early 2000s school became free across the country and school was offered to every child regardless of social class or gender.
The 36-year-old English-speaking tour guide, David recalls his parent’s sacrifices for his education. His parents had a modest income, but 1/3 of their income went to his education. Wow! That’s a lot of pressure for the child. Can you imagine coming home with a bad report card when your family is providing you with the privilege of going to school? Note to Canadian children: Don’t take your education for granted. It’s an incredible opportunity for personal growth and provides you with a chance to increase your career choices. Chinese children do not take their education for granted. They study hard because their parents emphasize that getting an education leads to a better life.