|Chinese-Canadian girls wear the Han style dress in an activity in Guangxi province. (File photo/Liu Wanqiang)|
There are many attractions to the Western education system. It molds top talent in science, business, arts and sports without sacrificing the happiness of childhood. For Chinese immigrants, the image of the western dream is much easier to grasp than the reality.
Most Chinese immigrants' children study in public schools. Western public schools aim to cultivate informed citizens by proving them with a basic education on issues of morality, culture and general life. A public school education cannot meet the same standards as an elite education in terms of teaching equipment, faculty and work intensity. Without the pressure of homework and exams, children in public schools may feel more relaxed and have more time for leisure. But their aspirations might rise no higher than a career as a cleaner, taxi driver, cook, supermarket cashier, security guard, firefighter, or librarian .
The civic education in western public schools may seem very successful. However, for Chinese parents with dreams of a place in the elite, it's hard to accept - "Do we abandon a successful career in China and start from zero in a strange place, just to see our child become a happy ordinary worker? "
Is there an ideal education plan?
Some people suggest that Chinese immigrants' children come back and undergo their primary education in China, so that the children have a strong academic base, and a better level of math.
We do hate the spoon-feeding and rote learning education mode in China. However the oriental education provides children with a solid educational base, and especially an obvious advantage in 'hard' courses such as math, physics and chemistry. It also helps the children to learn good Chinese. Speaking good Chinese is quickly becoming a clear advantage in western job markets. After their primary education in China, children can continue to study abroad and take advantage of a western education. Is this the ideal education plan for Chinese immigrants' children?
Choose the education which best suits
A Chinese mother in Canada chose to send her son to China from the second year of primary school, and then have him back from the fifth year. She says that although there were obvious improvements in his Chinese and math, his English level dropped fast. It took a long time for him to re-adapt to the new educational environment. So the ideal education plan may not exist. The two education systems have both advantages and disadvantages. We can only choose the one which suits us better.
In the Chinese education system, every child is cultivated to reach the top. Only 10 percent of them will succeed - there is room at the top for only a small number of people. However, China provides its parents with a dream, and an equal chance for everyone to receive an elite education. The Western system, which provides an elite education to only a small number of people, can be a good choice for parents of a more relaxed disposition. They will have the opportunity to raise their children in accordance with their own talents and wishes.
Edited and translated by Huang Jin, People's Daily Online