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China’s Education System

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The US stands as the statement of productivity efficiency in a capitalistic market. It has the most successful form of government in the world, given that the US Gross National Product is over 10 times higher than of any other nation in the world, and twice that of the top-five nations behind it. This makes the US the single greatest nation ever crafted in the history of the world. That level of success is largely owed to an innovative workforce, skilled and perfected in driving the most complicated business ventures known to man.

Yet in recent times, China has arisen as a worthwhile competitor. This is reflected much more in education than in the economy. China has a greater population and thus more people to absorb into its market and it is also more capitalistic akin to the US. That means if they gain on the innovation edge in education, it will take only a few years to surpass the greatness of the United States. Today, a Chinese classrooms has more students that that of US, more students per teacher and poorer education facilities. Yet, Chinese students are highly disciplined, respectful and productive in learning than those in the United States. The culture and social dynamics of the Chinese schools make learning very conducive than in the US. In comparison, discipline in the US public schools is at its worst ever, leading to critics calling the public schools some modern babysitting facilities.

In comparing the education systems in the US and in China, the most important thing is the quality of the products that run through the systems (Teaching Tips). The United States leads the world mainly because their graduates reign in the scientific innovation and discovery arenas. However, China is picking up as America looses out on this important pedigree. When it comes to instilling innovation in students, the Chinese are doing it on an overdrive, mainly by incorporating numerous projects in the curriculum involving electronics Information Technology and similar disciplines. This is the very genius (innovation) that made America a global giant with hosts of inventors, creative filmmakers, superstar rock 'n' roll artists, Nobel laureates and personalities who stand as business icons perse. 

China's education is phrased on a top-down system where supreme emphasis is placed on tightly structured units, centrally managed by the government and engrained with disciplined learning. The education structure in China is largely socially engineered such that the system is dependent on government control (Mathur, 2009). The US on the other hand, has a highly decentralized system (state based) whose emphasis is critical thinking of every student, the so-called student-centered learning. This single difference yields a lot of significance since while it is easy for the Chinese government to direct and guide the national education system via the Ministry of Education, The US government has little to do to influence the curriculum and standard of education taught in various states and school districts.

American educators are puzzled by the fact that Chinese students are so apt in science and math (the subjects that underlie the future of any nation) than the US, where performance on the two areas has become phenomenally poor. Since 2006, China has consistently produced over nine times more engineers than those produced by the US educations system. There are more teachers in China than in the U.S. at the elementary and middle levels (Mathur, 2009).

On the other hand, China’s education system has been termed substandard as compared to other international systems. There is a high level of corruption, cheating and simplification of course content. This has made the government to rethink on reforming the system. While the elementary education has seen China surpass the US in the number of graduates, high school education is very poor in China with majority of Chinese dropping out to work instead of joining colleges. The rate of college admission to the number of those who complete elementary education is at 16% in China and 37% in the US. Another important facet of comparison is the immigration of students to world’s most prestigious learning institutions. China’s rate of enrollment in international schools is at 25% while that of the US is 1.5%.

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