How is the school in China
School uniforms are part of everyday life for Chinese children. But the uniform look is deceptive: only the best later make it to top positions. The drill starts in kindergarten.
All day in kindergarten
From the age of three to elementary school, all-day attendance at a free kindergarten is usually the rule.
Two-tier school system
School attendance has only been compulsory in China since 1986. Every child has to attend the two-tier school for nine years. The first six years in elementary school, then three years in so-called middle school. At the end of the ninth grade, performance decides whether the adolescents can stay at secondary school for another three years (corresponds to our upper level) and then possibly study. Those who leave can switch to a “vocational high school” and spend three years preparing for their future job.
Higher education is not free
In public schools, school fees are only incurred from the tenth grade onwards. They are the equivalent of around 300 euros per year - depending on the type of school and region. During the school year, however, elementary and middle schools also repeatedly charge special fees. To attend a private school, parents usually have to dig much deeper into their pockets.
On the hunt for points
The grades are only relevant when transferring to a secondary school - i.e. after the 6th, 9th and 12th grade. Chinese students can achieve a maximum of 100 points per subject. Anyone who collects 59 points or less must attend a less good school in the next school year. At Nankai Middle School in Tianjin, for example, no more than 50 percent of students manage to stay after grade 9. At the end of the 12th grade, they have to pass a three-day final examination in all subjects. Depending on the number of points achieved, they can then apply to a good or one of the best universities.
Holidays are for learning
As in Germany, the school year is divided into two half-years. In total, the Chinese students have around 14 weeks of vacation. However, many children have to use the days off to learn new material.
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