Since the introduction of open-door policy in the late 1970’s China has undergone major social, political and economic changes. The economic situation in China has evolved from a government-planned economy to a more liberal market economy. To meet the demand of the fast-growing economy the Chinese education system completed some major changes. The Chinese people strongly believe that education ensures not only the future and the development of the individual but also the economy and the country as a whole, so a good education has always been highly valued in China. This essay will look at relationship between the Chinese economy and it’s educational system, which is one of the main institutions contributing to the socializing of the individual into the society. This essay will also look into the equality of the educational system or the lack of it. Furthermore, this essay will discuss the rising of parentocracy in China, which is emphasized by the one child policy and further supported by the privatization of the educational system. This essay will overall look into the educational system’s affect on the economic development in China by using the structural functionalist and conflict perspectives to examine the interaction between education and economy, which are some of the interconnected institutions that is a big part of the Chinese society.
Education is an important social institution where knowledge and culture values are being taught. The French sociologist Emile Durkheim defined the major function of education as the transmission of society’s norms and values1. Society can survive only if these exists among its members as sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by teaching in the child from the beginning the norms and values which collective life in a society demands. Without it, the cooperation, social solidarity and therefore social life itself would be isolated and impossible. A vital task for all societies is the connecting of the individuals into a united whole, in other words the creation of social solidarity. This involves a commitment to society, a sense of belonging and a feeling that the social unit is more important than the individual. In short; the society constructs its educational system to promote and reproduce its ideal of what a person should be, especially of what a person being should be as a part of society. Chinese Education System
Since the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), the education system in China has been geared toward economic modernization. In 1985, the national government gave responsibility for basic education to local governments through the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party's Decision on the Reform of the Educational Structure. In presentation of the education reform plan in May 1985, the government introduced nine years of compulsory education and the establishment of the State Education Commission. “Education must face modernization, face the world, and face the future2” Deng Xiaoping stated in the early 1980’s. The Chinese government has placed priority in developing education, planning the strategy of moving forward the country through science and education, making constant efforts to develop the educational system, and implementing the nine-year compulsory education. Governments at all levels are increasing investing in education. China’s school education includes pre-school & primary school, secondary school, Tertiary education (Higher-education), as well as graduate school education. The traditional Chinese education system focuses on memorization-based and exam-based education3. It is not typical that the student’s time is highly organized and they will spend seven days of the week between school, homework and other enriching activities like music or art classes. This form of educational practices had been criticized to produce authoritarian subjects and...
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