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February 19, 2013

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Home » Metro » Education

Teaching of basics made mandatory

THE Shanghai Education Commission ordered yesterday that primary schools have to teach English and Chinese "from scratch" to new pupils, as opposed to the current practice of skipping the alphabet and pinyin teaching for first graders.

The policy will be first piloted in primary schools in Huangpu and Jinshan districts this semester, before it covers the whole city.

The current practice of spending little time on basics is a result of many parents with high expectations for their children making their kids study Chinese and English before they enter primary school.

That has driven other parents to send preschoolers to private extracurricular courses to make sure they keep up with peers.

Those without such preparation can fall behind.

Schools will have to teach students from the very beginning the ABCs, 123s and the strokes of Chinese characters, according to the commission.

Primary schools also will have to replace the 100-point rating system with a classification system to reduce the academic burden on the first- and second-graders, according to the order from the commission. Public kindergartens are not allowed to teach academic subjects to children.


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