The past couple of years have been rough for the Chinese economy. The country’s economy has been gradually slowing down, and the government has done a number of things to combat this, along with the country’s citizens. However, some citizens – one mother in particular – have taken more drastic measures than most.
According to the South China Morning Post, a mother is making her nine-year-old son study for 16 hours every single day. There have been mixed reactions to this, ranging from admiration of the son’s willpower to allegations of child abuse. However, the mother says that “it’s not problematic as long as it’s good for the child.”
There is a strong emphasis on education in most developed countries, and it’s no secret that education has a drastic effect on a country’s economy. Someone with a high level of education will be able to land a high-paying, high-prestige job and will, therefore, be able to put more money back into the economy. So, could 16 hours of daily homework be the answer to help improve China’s economy? In short, no.
Xi Jinping’s Plan for Reforming the Chinese Economy
Chinese president Xi Jinping recently announced his next big economic initiative, which he has called “supply-side structural reform.” According to Jia Kang, an economist in China’s Ministry of Finance, Xi is channeling people like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the next economic moves for China. Kang says, “[Thatcher and Reagan’s] spirit was one of boldly taking on challenges and innovating, and that’s certainly worth Chinese people emulating.”
Well, 16 hours of daily homework and studying would certainly be considered challenging, but it’s not exactly “innovative.” Today, the most innovative and creative minds often end up dropping out of school (Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, for example). For China, though, this could be different. Part of Xi’s plan is to shut down factories for coal, steel, and other industrial products, and this means cutting out jobs. With fewer jobs, there will be more competition, and with more education, children will have a better chance of landing those jobs. However, if 16 hours of studying becomes the daily norm, then where will it stop? Maybe this mother should push her child to become the next great economic policy maker for China.