Homeschooling now a growing trend in mainland China
Education scholar Cheng Fangping of Renmin University told The Sunday Times the numbers are growing as more people realize that alternative forms of education exist and are opting for them instead.
One reason for this awareness, he said, is the influence of popular Chinese author Zheng Yuanjie, who withdrew his son after primary school about 18 years ago. The younger Zheng was taught by tutors and his father and is seen as a homeschooling success. Now an entrepreneur, he owns bookstores, magazines and photography studios.
Stories of how homeschooling has produced successful personalities such as celebrated novelist Han Han also help to spread the word.
The article pointed out problems families have if the intent is to attend college.
Also, China’s national college entrance exams (“gaokao”) allow only registered students to take the tests, making homeschoolers ineligible.
Thus, 34 percent of parents in the 21st Century report plan to send their children back to school for the gaokao. Another 36 percent intend to send them abroad.
Rather than discriminating against it, authorities should give homeschooling some direction and even help develop a proper teaching model, Professor Cheng noted.
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