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January 26, 2015

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Home » Metro » Education

Need for caution when looking abroad

EDUCATIONAL specialists say parents need to be careful when choosing international classes for their children.

“Parents should consider many facets, including cost and the possible repercussions if children leave China at too young an age to study abroad,” said Ren Youqun, vice president of East China Normal University. “Do parents want their children to lose their cultural identifies?

He said the internationalization of primary and high school education is inevitable because so many parents believe that the best education will open doors to good jobs and careers.

Parents need to scrutinize the curricula of international education programs to make sure that they are well-rounded and justify the higher cost, Ren said. Trying to avoid the gaokao Chinese college entrance exam is not sufficient reason in itself to send a child to an international program in Shanghai.

As a Shanghai educator, Ren said he is not worried about the campus competition to snare the best and brightest students.

“Competition for excellent students always exists, previously within China and now throughout the world,” he said. “Even as China sends more of its students abroad, it is also attracting more foreign students to these shores, not only for language studies but also for academic degrees.”

Meanwhile, China is reforming its education system, including changes to the gaokao that will come into full effect in 2017.

Ren said no matter what the changes, basic education in China should always aim to nurture an appreciation of Chinese culture and history even as it absorbs overseas elements.

“I hope our students who go abroad will spread and develop Chinese culture in the world,” he said.


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