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Christian Living

chinaconnection 03/30/09

Survey Says: Chinese Students Spend Most Time Studying, Least Time Talking to Parents

A new survey conducted by the China Youth and Children Research Foundation polled about 4,000 high school and vocational school students in China, Japan, the United States and South Korea.  While some of the high school frustrations, like finding the balance between work and personal life were pretty universal, there were also some interesting contrasts between the students.  Here are a few:

Chinese students spent the most time on homework. Nearly 80% of Chinese students spent at least 8 hours a week in school, and 56.7% spent two or more hours working on their homework.  By comparison, only about 25% of U.S. students, 20.5% of Japanese students, and 15% of Korean students had more than two hours of homework each night. 

Chinese students spent the least amount of time talking their parents, but have the most respect for them.  Only about 54.8% of Chinese students talk "frequently" with their parents, compared to about 82% of Japanese students and 73.8% of U.S. students. 

On the other hand, 97% of Chinese students respect their parents, versus 71.5% of Japanese students and 92.9% of U.S. students.  Over 20% of Chinese students felt they had no one to confide in, versus about 8% of U.S. students.

Having spent time with Chinese and U.S. high school students, I'm not entirely surprised by some of these differences when it comes to the amount of time spent studying. 

In China, your acceptance into college hinges on one massive examination.  If you're having a bad day, your chances of getting into your ideal college or studying what you might want to study are extremely diminished. 

There's also a far greater emphasis on academic performance, versus other extracurriculars.  In the U.S., a "well-rounded" student with glowing recommendations from teachers and various extra-curricular activities will often get into a stronger university than a student who has perfect grades and S.A.T. scores, but not much else.

The statistics about talking "frequently" with parents might be a little bit misleading, since the survey didn't quantify "frequent," but it is a little disheartening to see that at least 25% of students in these countries only have infrequent conversations with their parents, and that many feel that they don't have anyone to confide in.

I'm not sure how the findings of this survey compare to past results, but it will be interesting to see how these results might translate when students enter the job market in the future.         

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