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Are all Chinese people good at math?

爱问 2018-08-29 17:40:29 中国人擅长数学
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There’s an old cliché of a “hard-working Asian student.”

This reputation for hard work is the culmination of China’s long tradition of scholarship, along with intense competition and an overwhelming demand for academic excellence.

Just take a look at how intense China’s National College Entrance Examination is…

Students entering test examination buildings must use fingerprint and iris-matching equipment to verify their identities under the watchful eyes of security guards. Meanwhile, drones hover above and scans for radio signals sent in or out.

The “National Examination” was central to China’s feudal history prior to the nationalist revolution. Traditionally, to succeed in China, a man (women were not allowed) must score highly in the national exam. The best performers would be trained to become local officials working for the government.

The concept of “Sheng Guan Fock Choi” is deeply-rooted in China’s DNA. It means “to be promoted in the ranks of the government and become wealthy”, and it has influenced Chinese culture for millennia. Academic achievement is viewed as an ingredient of a successful and complete life.

Photo: Masterstudies.com

Getting into the best universities is competitive in any country. But it reaches a different dimension in China. The country’s one-child policy (which was only abandoned in January 2016) means that parents are even more intensely focused on ensuring that their only child excels and is part of China’s growing middle class. Education is critical to that objective.

The traditional nature of family throughout much of Asia, whereby children (or in this case, the child) care for their parents in old age, means that parents have a strong self-interest in ensuring that their child does well in school – so that he can later earn enough to support them. Additionally, more so than in many other countries, the college a Chinese student attends has an immediate impact on career and even marriage prospects.

And China’s macroeconomic backdrop is slowly becoming less supportive for young people. The gradual slowing of the Chinese economy has made the job market more challenging. Additionally, the slow but steady shift of the focus of the economy away from manufacturing and towards services means that the definition of a well-paying job is rapidly changing. Moving up the socioeconomic ladder is increasingly challenging in China.

As a result, Chinese families will go to great lengths – and spend much of their wealth – to improve their child’s educational preparation, and thus his chances of a successful (and well-paying) life. Also, people already in the workforce or close to joining it are under heightened pressure to have practical and applicable skills.

The pressure starts in kindergarten. Parents scramble to enrol their children in the best pre-schools, which in turn lead to the best middle and high schools. This has created an educational arms race as parents spend their income on private education to give their children a better shot at the top universities. For example, there are now more private than public kindergartens in China, according to consultants McKinsey & Company.

So Asian societies are notoriously competitive, and China is no different. Parents in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and China send their children for extra tuition after school. The “fear of falling behind” goes hand-in-hand with the pride of “getting ahead”. The two work together to create a sense that life is a competition.

This was written by Stansberry Churchouse Research, an independent investment research company based in Singapore and Hong Kong that delivers investment insight on Asia and around the world. Click here to sign up to receive the Asia Wealth Investment Daily in your inbox every day, for free.











压力从幼儿园开始。家长们争先恐后地让自己的孩子进入最好的幼儿园,这反过来又会让孩子进入最好的中学和高中。这引发了一场教育军备竞赛,因为家长们把自己的收入花在私立教育上,以便让自己的孩子在顶尖大学获得更好的机会。例如,咨询公司麦肯锡(McKinsey & Company)的数据显示,中国现在的私立幼儿园比公立幼儿园多。