AERO E-News 18.09.2010

Item from AERO E-news

Wen says rote learning must go in Chinese schools

Chinese schools have to get their students to be creative and think for themselves, Premier Wen Jiabao told officials, in reference to the rote-learning deeply ingrained in the national education system.

Students in China perform well in exams and tests in which they are required to memorize answers, but rate less well in creativity and critical thinking, hampering the country’s ambitions to move its economy up the value chain.

“Students don’t only need knowledge; they have to learn how to act, to use their brains,” Wen told a meeting on July 13 in a lengthy speech carried by the official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

“As Einstein said, imagination is more powerful that knowledge.”

“We must encourage students to think independently, freely express themselves, get them to believe in themselves, protect and stimulate their imagination and creativity,” Wen said.

Other countries in Asia, including Singapore and Japan, have struggled to address similar problems in education systems which stress exam results and conformity.

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