Under a proposed new law, students in Zhejiang wouldn’t be required to do homework after 9 pm. CFP
Homework, exams and most importantly, test scores – the things you have to worry about seem endless. You are definitely not alone. In China, many students are stressed out by excessive workloads. But there might be good news for some of them.
作业、测验以及最重要的考试分数 —— 你所担心的这些事似乎一直没完没了。这样想的绝非只有你一个人。在中国，许多学生都被沉重的课业负担压得喘不过气来。但有些人或许等来了好消息。
On Oct 28, the Education Department of Zhejiang province published a draft regulation on cutting student workloads to solicit public opinions. The proposed law has started a fierce debate.
Among the many clauses, one guideline stands out. It grants primary school pupils the right to leave their homework unfinished after 9 pm, and junior high school students after 10 pm, with parents’ approval.
Children in Zhejiang will likely welcome the move. However, the draft has met fierce objections, largely from parents. Although parents don’t want their children overwhelmed with homework, many have expressed their concerns about the effects of workload reduction, China Daily reported.
There is a very practical reason for the objections: gaokao, the “all-important” national college entrance exam. If schools reduce homework assignments, “the parents, who want their children to stand out from their peers and score higher, must provide them with more after-school training,” Zhang Yi, a primary school teacher in Hangzhou, told Beijing Youth Daily.
该方案的反对声音背后，有相当实际的原因 —— “至关重要的”高考。如果学校减少了作业量，“想让孩子在考试中拿到高分脱颖而出的家长就会让孩子在校外多上辅导班，”来自杭州的小学老师张毅（化名）在接受《北京青年报》记者采访时表示。
The aim of this guideline, as the Education Department of Zhejiang explained, is to take differences among students into full consideration and make sure they get sufficient sleep.
Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences, also doubted the feasibility of such guidelines. “[These measures] are not practical in the current social circumstances,” he said to People’s Daily. “Even if schools make changes, it is difficult to change the pursuit of scores in a test-oriented educational environment.”
Chu suggests that it would make better sense to change the system of college admissions, making it “more ... flexible”.
“In many other countries, the performance of students is assessed by professional institutions rather than government. For some top colleges, students’ scores only account for 25 to 40 percent of their assessments. So students won’t spend so much of their time on scores,” Chu said.