Education mill saps students of their motivation

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Cai Meng/China Daily

Editor’s Note: Summer vacation becomes a “third semester” for most Chinese primary and middle school students. On the other hand, many students who have already enrolled in a college tend to turn the vacation into a celebration of “freedom”. Two experts share their views on the “vacation” phenomenon with China Daily’s Yao Yuxin. Excerpts follow:

Develop interests to motivate students

Many students and their parents in China regard passing the college entrance examination (or gaokao) as the ultimate goal of academic life. Almost all students study hard up to senior high school to get higher grades in every subject, and be in a better position to excel in gaokao and get admitted to a “good” university. For the students know, or their parents hammer into them the fact, that once they get admitted to a “good” university, fewer challenges lie between them and a college diploma.

Therefore, quite a few students, over-burdened with studies since their primary school days, lose interest in studies, let alone excelling in academics after entering a university.

To ensure students continue to feel motivated to perform well even in college, school children should be given at least 40 percent of their “normal” after-school study time to do what they are fond of. They should also be allowed to enjoy the summer vacation by playing with their peers, traveling, getting to know nature. They could also visit museums and factories, as such activities can help develop their interests in academics and build their personality in the long run.

There is no reason for the parents to turn the summer vacation into a “third semester”.

As for college students, maintaining their interest in studies may be a big problem. But they could be given challenging tasks to finish, as these could awaken their passion to perform better in college.

Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences
Fulfill basic demands of university education

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