Chinese Students

Pictured here is a Chinese University student on a lunch break selecting a baked sweet potato for lunch. I visited several universities, attended lectures and spoke with the students, both young men and women. Three out of four wanted to work for a foreign owned company. Only one out of four wished to join the Communist Party and that was for the opportunities being a party member would provide. They were graduate students in their second year of a three-year program and tired of school but concerned about finding a job. Beginning teachers with a master’s degree make about $600 per month, not much. I also visited a middle school and spoke with four 8th graders. Two of them wanted to be basketball players, one a doctor and one wished to join the military. Only one of them owned a cell phone. I was told that only 30% of 8th graders pass the test to continue on to high school. The education system in China is not perfect. The school was crowded and noisy with a train passing nearby that was very distracting. English and Mandarin Chinese are taught beginning in the early grades. They are trying as we all are to provide education for their children. The vast numbers are a challenge.