China's formal education system can be traced as far back as 16 BC, to the Shang Dynasty. For a long time, Chinese education was solely for the elite and its only purpose was to produce government officials.
In the 20th century, China made huge advancements in its educational system and policies. One of the most important elements of the Cultural Revolution was the creation of a universal education policy. The entire population, regardless of income or class, was entitled to the same quality and level of education. Beginning in the early 1980s, the Chinese Communist Party began to stress science and technology in the country's educational system because these skills were seen as important in modernizing the country's economy.
During the Cultural Revolution, education was based upon Leninist ideals. The educational system stressed the importance of teaching practical and accessible skills, including basic medical training, to those who lived in extremely rural and poor areas.
Some of the skills we have adopted in the Western world are a direct result of teachings in China during this period. Some examples include the Lamaze technique for childbirth and the general role of the paramedic. By teaching basic medical skills to people who did not possess a medical license or qualification, the Chinese system created a new type of medical job that allows nurses or paramedics to fill in for a doctor and administer medical aid.
The Chinese educational system is divided into three categories: basic education, higher education, and adult education. Chinese law requires every child to have nine years of formal education. Basic education is comprised of pre-school (3-5 years old), primary school (6-11 years old), and secondary school (12-17 years old.) Higher education consists of vocational junior colleges, as well as universities and colleges that offer undergraduate or graduate programs. China also has an extensive program for supporting study abroad programs for its college students. Adult education is primarily composed of anti-illiteracy and other programs directed at adult groups, particularly in rural areas.
With the largest population in the world, and with a 91% literacy rate, China's educational system ranks highly, compared to other modernized nations. China has an estimated 630 million young students under the age of 24. This is larger than the US, Australia, and Russia combined. In the approximately 1 million primary and secondary schools throughout China, there are an estimated 212 million primary and secondary school students, compared with 52 million in the United States.
The sheer numbers involved in China's educational system is staggering. With the amount of resources and money that the Chinese government is investing into its educational policies, and its attempt to modernize its country by equipping their young students with strong skills in finance, business, science, and technology, China has already become a powerful economic superpower, and will no doubt continue to grow rapidly in the future. The country's strict policies and commitment towards educating its population, from the rich urban cities to the impoverished rural villages, has raised its educational status to one of the highest ranked among the world's wealthiest countries.
2010-10-15 16:50 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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