Why is your kid in school from 8am to 8pm?


Why do we as Chinese look at our kids and wonder why they are always in school every weekday from 8am to 8pm? Why do I look at the other kids living overseas doing a lot more extracurricular activities and laughing more than my kids? What is the Chinese society doing to us shaping our perspectives into kids’ education?

Historical background:

Our behaviors as Chinese often have a lot to do with what happened in the past, our history. Many decades ago, only the intelligent students were able to attend University. Hence, being the perfect top grade students was the aim for the students and holding up with pride by the Chinese parents. Also, most families in the past were relatively poor as a result, thinking of putting their kids attending after school activities were seem to be materialistic wishes. Nowadays, families are living in better conditions. University entries are a lot higher. Especially in Taiwan, the percentage of high school graduated students capable of getting an admission to University is so high up to 99.7%. Thus, why all these harsh bombarding school days from 8am to 8pm?

Chinese perceptions:

  1. Chinese parents expect their kids to enter the BEST university possible. If not, they lose face. If not, their kids will have difficulty finding a good job in the future.
  2. Attending school from 8am to 8pm as from 4pm onwards to 8pm the kids would be taken to a so-called cram school. Big business opportunity in the Chinese society. Chinese parents believe, the more the kids learn, the better and not for worse.
  3. Chinese parents both work for the entire day. Grandparents might be living in the south so no one would be able to take care of the kids. Send them to cram school! They learn more in their academic life and someone would take care of them!
  4. Chinese parents are too tired to take responsibility to the academic difficulties from their children. They send their kids to cram school from 4pm to 8pm so that their problems would be easily solved together by a third party.

I would like to make a list of pros and cons towards this situation in the Chinese society but again, I realized that there is no right or wrong answer towards what is better for the kids. It is simply the society’s phenomenon that put the children in this daily life situation.

You as a foreigner, as a father or a mother, what do you think of putting your kids in this societal pressure in terms of what is best for learning?




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