WhenSchools Officials Drive BMWs
For seven out of the past ten years I’ve taught Englishand history in China, so Ihave had a firsthand view of the pros and cons of China’s education system. Here’s afew points I wanted to bring up:
1. Perhaps most important is the huge difference betweenhow Chinese and Americans value an university education. In China, highschool and the gaokao exam scores are the apex of many students’ education.While the prestige of the university is very important for parents andstudents, the quality of education that a student receives at university is notalways of the greatest concern.
2. Many private universities are simply diploma mills.There is little reason to study if you know you will receive your degreeregardless of your class performance. In turn, faculty and administrators lackincentive to improve their programs because parents and students often are moreconcerned about receiving a degree than receiving a quality education.
3. There is a degree of economic mismanagement in highschools and universities that would not be tolerated in a developed Westernnation. I have heard stories about families bribing teachers and administratorsso that their children can receive passing scores. Money is spent on projectsbeautifying school grounds and for administrators' travels, rather than onsalaries for the faculty. Also, top school administrators all drive very fancycars, yet it’s widely known that their salaries could not possibly permit themto buy such vehicles.