Chinese parents spend an average of $17,000 per year on tutoring. In the USA it’s perhaps $2,000.
The government has tried several measures over the years to reduce the academic workload of primary and middle school pupils in particular, but they have had little impact.
For instance, in its school management guidelines last year the ministry said primary school pupils should have the right to sleep for 10 hours a night.
“Reducing schoolwork in the classroom has pushed educational responsibility onto parents instead,” Tan was quoted as saying.
“The competitive selection examination system still exists. Extracurricular tutoring continues to grow, and tutoring fees have become a heavy and unavoidable cost for many households.”
Chinese parents lament losing sleep over children’s homework
Zhang Ziyong, an education bureau inspector in Shandong province, said the focus on rote learning and cramming was the reason children were under so much pressure at school.
“From the 1950s onwards China began attempting to reduce the burden [of schoolwork]. But up until now the workload of primary and middle school students has not only failed to get lighter, it has in fact grown worse,” Zhang told the news website.
Nearly half of all parents surveyed for the education group’s report said the entrance exam system for schools and universities needed a complete overhaul to reduce the academic pressure on their children.
To tackle the problem, the report recommended that academic assessment should not be based solely on test results but that schools and teachers should try to promote more all-round academic development.
Here in Boston, our kids go to sleep at 9, wake up at 7. 10 hours a night. Currently D gets 1 hour of tutoring per week, from our neighbor.