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April 24, 2013

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Home » Metro » Education

Kids found weary of school in first grade

WHILE a large majority of preschoolers in Shanghai's Yangpu District were found to be very well-prepared academically, officials have found they often are anxious and upset when they enter first grade and some are already weary of studying.

The parents of about 80 percent of preschoolers in the district have made sure their children learned pinyin, mathematics and English before they entered primary schools, a survey by local education experts showed.

They said the parents prepared their children academically from the start, fearing they may lag behind others.

Although the education authorities have been working to reduce homework and add extracurricular classes to balance students in study and play, parents are making every effort to make sure their children can score high in the high school and college entrance exams.

"A simple and easy way is to feed children with textbook knowledge at a younger age," said Zhu Qingyi, deputy dean of Yangpu District Teachers' Training College, which led the survey.

Test-oriented learning

The survey found 86 percent of children in kindergartens in Yangpu can count up to 100 and two-thirds of them have learned pinyin and English at after-school classes or have been taught by their parents. About 34 percent know more than 300 Chinese characters, it said.

"A majority of children learn test-oriented knowledge in advance at preschool age. They are forced to learn more after entering primary schools since parents are always afraid that their children will lag behind others in studies," Zhu said.

Zhu said it is dangerous for parents to hurry their children to learn beyond their natural learning rate while ignoring the children's physical and psychological education.

Educational experts found although these children already have a good common of knowledge and score high in tests, they feel more anxious and upset than should be expected in first grade.

Zhu said many students who were active in kindergarten became unusually silent and asocial in primary school. Some first-graders were weary of studying and said they wanted to go back to kindergartens.


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