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April 21, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Parents less keen on teachers

PARENTS are less satisfied with teachers than they were a year ago, according to the latest survey from the Shanghai Academy of Educational Science.

Parents are unhappy with young teachers' relative inexperience and some teachers' part-time tutor jobs, the survey showed.

Teachers, on the other hand, blamed the poorer score on parents' increasing expectations.

However, parents said they are more satisfied with the education system as a whole. Overall satisfaction was scored at 78.8 points, 12.4 points higher than a year ago, in the survey of 8,130 parents.

"The fairness and education opportunities have been improved a lot," said Fu Lujian, director of the academy's elementary education research institute, which carried out the survey.

"The government has been working hard to address the kindergarten shortage and make all non-local children enjoy free compulsory education," he said.

However, satisfaction with teachers' abilities and dedication reached 63.3 points last year. That was 5.9 points lower than a year ago.

Satisfaction with school administration dropped even lower - 10.9 points, to 62.6 points.

"Most of my daughter's teachers were born in the one-child family," said Sharon Gong, a mother of a Grade-One pupil at a boarding school.

"They had little experience in taking care of others. It's like a 'kidult' looking after my girl."

Because of the one-child policy and the social emphasis on high education degrees, Chinese parents pay intense attention to their kid's academic performance and the quality of education.

"Teachers withstand great pressure now, faced with parents' high expectations," said Zhang Zhiyin, deputy principal of High School Affiliated to Fudan University.

"Their professional abilities are increasing. The education authorities and schools have been working to strengthen the training for teachers," Zhang said. "It's just because parents' expectations have increased with the times."

However, some parents suspect that teachers are paying less attention to teaching their courses.

"Many teachers are busy earning extra money through part-time tutoring jobs," said Long Gang, another parent.

Amid the economic crisis, more people are interested in teaching, which is seen as a steady job with good working conditions.


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