Comparison of Eastern and Western Education

I saw on television the other day.  One of the Australian members of parliament was commenting on the result of a recent test taken by all the school children in Asia Pacific regions. He said that Australian Education System is falling behind.  The test score of our children is lower than those in Singapore and China.

I do not know why he commented on this issue without knowing all the facts.  

Yes, it is true that our students have a lower test score, but it doesn’t mean that the other countries’ education system is better than ours.

We shouldn’t compare test results of students from Western Men's Holiday Wish Listcountries to Asian countries.  In fact, comparison study of this kind should not even be performed.  If you don’t know, I will tell you why.

Let me start by giving you my background.  I am an Asian and I was born and educated in Hong Kong.  I knew everything about how they teach and what they teach their kids over there.  I am living in Australia now and I have a son who is brought up here.  Hence, I have a pretty good idea of how kids are educated in the Western countries.

In Asian countries, like China, Singapore and Malaysia, etc.  The children are taught and trained as an examination machine.  Every day there will be homework, no exception.  I remembered when I was a kid, I had to do homework more than two hours every day.  From Monday to Friday and the teacher gave us homework to do on the weekends too.

It is much worse in China.  I saw an article in a magazine few months ago.  They interviewed a 10-year-old kid and he said, “I returned home from school around 6 0’clock in the afternoon.  Then I will have my dinner and after that, I have to do my homework until ten.  Sometimes I work until midnight.”   I felt sorry for these kids!

It is not education.  It is competition.

child learns at night

Started from when they are small children.  I am sorry, I forgot.  It actually started from even before the child is born.  (Their parents will get the foetus to  listen to music, talk to them and read them stories.  They believed that it will stimulate their developing brain and the child will be smarter when they are born.)

The competition goes on until the child becomes a young man/woman, up to the day that they graduate from university.  Then they will compete to make money.  In China, your success is only measured by how much money you make – nothing else.

If this is the kind of education that we want to give our children.  What future do they have?  What kind of world will we be living in?

Do you still think that Eastern education system is better than Western education system?

 

I believed that education should not be a tool and its sole purpose is to give our next generation the skill to find a job.  I believed education should be much more than that.

Education should be used to open the mind of a young child, so that he/she will enjoy learning.  Education should be used to teach them what does it means to live as a human being.  It should not be something that they dread to do.

What do you think?

 

Please leave me a comment below if you have any other ideas.  See you next time.

Signing off

-MisterWailor

 

 


2 Comments

Peter G King · June 24, 2014 at 4:07 am

A very thought provoking article.

I grew up and was educated in Australia, and then spent quite a few years working in Asia where I got to understand local society and culture much better.

Life is competitive and we know hard work is required to succeed, but I think life balance is the key ingredient here.

Perhaps Aussie kids have more relaxation and fun times than necessary (kids would disagree!) but it is very important to get away from computer and play sports, go camping, biking, … whatever.

    MisterWailor · June 24, 2014 at 4:27 am

    You are correct, balance is important. But if life’s purpose is competition then it becomes meaningless.
    Children are suppose to play and explore. Doing homework every single day is too much for anyone.
    Thanks for your comment.

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