Ms. GAsk any school-aged child in China how his or her weekends are spent, they will probably tell you it is in extra-curricular training agencies.
In fact, ask any Chinese parent who has a school-aged child about their weekends, they will tell you it is spent languishing outside the doors of the training agencies.
Education in China has been given so much attention that it is taking up almost all the leisure time of kids and parents.
And the industry is developing at a rapid pace. In 2018 Deliotte had predicted that the market of private education in China will grow to CNY 3,36 trillion (roughly 486 billion USD).
Among the most popular products are early-childhood education, which can start as early as a baby is only months old, K12 education for the purpose of better examination results, and general intellectual development, such as painting, dancing, piano, Chinese calligraphy, and chess, to name only a few.
Chinese kids today are so versatile that almost all of them can play at least one musical instrument.
Piano, once deemed as a refined cultural taste and somewhat luxurious, is now a must-learn.
Every year about 500 000 pianos are sold in the country. In 1987, Guangzhou held Chinas first piano grade exams; only about 40 sat it.
One year later in Shanghai, over 300 took the test. Today, millions across the country try to pass a certain grade every year. Online models are proliferating as well, especially under the Covid-19 lockdowns. According to iResearch Consulting Group, the revenue of Chinas online education market reached CNY 251,76 billion (about 36,4 billion USD) in 2018 with a YoY growth of 25,7 percent, which was estimated to keep a growth rate of 16 percent -24 percent in the following 3-5 years.
All kinds of courses are offered online, such as maths, languages, and painting.
Driving this boom are a cultural propensity to focus on education, increasing competition as the national population grows, and better living conditions that inflate the wallets for services consumption.
While all this intellectual development is important, it is also worrying that as kids spend more time at the desk and in front of screens, their health and interpersonal skills may be neglected.
Their childhoods risk missing some of the most enjoyable ingredients watching ants moving biscuit crumbs, catching a butterfly, and getting dirty with sand and mud.
In the post-pandemic world, rebuilding our economy and our life requires consistent hard work. While we are at it, we must also not forget to give ourselves a break from time to time and have some fun.
Knowledge is a powerful weapon against our challenges; but the person wielding it must be sane. chinanews.com.
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