Special Features of Education in China
The government of China is committed to promoting a high standard of education. In the past decade, the country has taken measures to promote education. The introduction of a new education law in 1999 brought about changes that benefit students and teachers alike. By the end of that decade, universal education was expected to reach junior high school levels. Furthermore, technical education was projected to develop at the same rate as higher education. However, many challenges remain.
In the early stages of Chinese education, national examinations were held to assess academic skills. Despite these challenges, admission to a higher institution of learning was considered a symbol of social prestige. While the admission system has been affected by the Cultural Revolution, it remains the foundation for recruiting academically talented students. To qualify for an entrance examination, applicants had to be senior-middle school graduates and under twenty-six years old. However, the requirements for entrance exams have loosened. Prior to the reform, applicants had to have completed a minimum number of years of work experience in their occupations. In addition, workers and staff had to have permission from their employers to take the examination.
After the end of the dynastic era, China’s educational system was transformed further. The quest for modern nationhood and economic prosperity ushered in the first golden age of education in modern China. Under the leadership of the Beijing government, education in China enjoyed an uninterrupted period of growth. Beijing’s efforts to improve education, in both the public and private sectors, were widely recognized as a vital step in nation-building.