June 27, 2008

Taiwan School Tuff on Kidz!

Let's hear it for the Humanistic Education Foundation of Taiwan! Bless their little hearts, they didn't get the memo that sez "Taiwan is just like that" when it came out. There's an article in Taipei Times today under the headline: Junior high school kids overworked, foundation warns.

Check out this gem from HEF president Shih Ying (史英):

Prolonged study hours have zero benefits on a student’s ability to learn.
It seems that over 80% of Taiwan's junior high school kids spend more than 45 hours a week in school. If my math is correct, that's 5 hours longer than a 40 hour workweek. HEF recommends the 888 daily plan (in addition to being my nickname, 888 is a number that stands for good luck...although my coworker has never heard this..there I go again makin' shit up.) The three 8's are 8 hours in class, 8 hours asleep, and 8 hours of leisure time, presumably spent in front of a television set, but it's a nice sentiment.

The educators also say that "excess study hours have adverse effects on a student’s cognitive and interpersonal development" and that the teen years mark "a crucial time to develop independent and critical thinking."

Yeah, well. Good luck with that. I think that right after hell freezes over and the education department decides to cut the school day in half, the enrollment in cram schools is going to go through the roof.

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