I am studying Chinese students under exam-oriented education as I aim to discover how the system impacts the students. A desirable education system should purpose to develop and nurture an individual’s potential through a holistic application of the syllabus. Education should awaken a person to their unlimited potential and obligation. However, the high stakes placed on exams is continuously propelling the exam oriented education culture where teachers focus majorly on the cognitive realm. The Chinese education system has faced challenges over time on account of its exam centered education structure. Therefore, there is need for several reformations to make the system more quality oriented.
Chinese Students Under Exam-Oriented Education
Chinese mode of teaching seems attractive to some education researchers and policymakers in other countries. This is because of its great emphasis on standardized testing on principal subjects such as math and reading. The present-day Chinese education system remains exam centric relying on mechanical trainings and rote memorization as the primary technique (Fu, 2019). The system also uses test rankings as the key or sole criteria to evaluate students. Therefore, Chinese education is rather rigid in nature, and generates good scores but not citizenry of ingenuity, innovation and diversity. For Chinese students, the purpose of learning focuses exclusively on acing the examinations. The process begins early, as the system starts testing from age two with the initiation of the three-point life technique of home schooling. Despite the reforms of implementing quality oriented education, the exam centric culture still pervades within the long term mainstream education and has been found to impede the policy reforms.
The exam centered education system of China faces a number of challenges. Firstly, it causes a lot of stress on the students as exams are deemed to prove their worth. This process filters the students and only the top ranking ones are selected to continue with higher learning. It can be said that an exam centric system controls what students know and what they do not. As a result, it manifests as a form of oppression to an individual’s school and social life and in so doing undermine critical thinking which is the definitive purpose of learning. Nonetheless, students take a key exam ‘gaokao’ which determines their future. The thought that one’s future relies on a single exam may impede the student’s creativity and innovation as they try too hard to adhere to the rigid curriculum (Kirkpatrick and Zang, 2011). Education should be able to nurture self-reliance and creativity which is not the case for the Chinese exam oriented program.
Despite its major drawbacks, the exam centric education also has some positive prospects. It provides an impartial environment and equal opportunity for students with families that have distinct backgrounds (Guo, Huang and Zhang, 2019). The exam centric mode is feasible in assessing education results in different zones for instance urban and rural areas. China has made great milestones in universalizing compulsory education which has in turn made elementary and higher education accessible to many. High literacy levels as a result of accessibility serve as the basis for enhanced access to information and directly improve a student’s capacity to contribute to society. Additionally, the education system infuses work ethic in the students from a young age. The exam centric mode molds the students into hardworking individuals as they study hard to get high grades. The ‘gaokao’ advocates effort over ability, serving society and family to become a respectable citizen which stems from becoming a good student.
In future practice, China’ s education system can begin by offering teachers more training opportunities to enhance the selection necessities of teachers. If the average working capacity of teachers can be elevated, they will have a better opportunity to master the policy more easily and teach the syllabus more smoothly (Zhou, 2013). The experience of a great range of teaching methods coupled with reformed educational policies will stimulate thinking and create a more quality oriented system. There are other numerous ways to be a well-rounded individual than simply entering colleges. Therefore, only when people change their old exam centric conception will the reliance on ability rather than creativity prevail. Furthermore, higher learning institutions should offer preservice workshops and continuous professional growth opportunities. Professional development should include credit and noncredit programs, seminars and training for the most impactful results. Students will be able to learn, practice and build their capacities in two fold.
In conclusion, China’s approach to education demands restructuring to sustain its applicability. Teachers should pay more attention to the student’s overall development which can only be possible when the chief basis of reform is opening up the education system progressively. The ministry of education should focus on formulating reasonable educational policies and evaluating the student’s efficacy and performance. By recounting the information in terms of validity of the test, teachers will be able to reach satisfactory levels whereby they are able to assist students in varied aspects of learning, motivation, attitude and self-assessment.