China from AD 605 to Today
- As early as AD 605, China’s central government began to use a national exam system to select government officials. (The other four inventions were the compass, gunpowder, paper, and movable type.) Tests seemed to discriminate against individuals who were talented in science and technology. The gaokao test given at the end of high school has a profound effect on all schooling and society. Studies have shown that students ranking in the top 10% are not as successful in life.
- Many students in China attend school and study and do little else. Increased competition in getting into better colleges and an exclusive focus on test scores place unbearable pressure on students. Suicide is the number-one killer of Chinese between the ages of 15 and 34. Many cases of cheating are reported and are punished as criminal actions. Another casualty is creativity. To be creative is to be different. All schools work against creativity expecting children to conform.
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