China changed its two-child policy to allow married couples to have three children. It promised to increase maternity leave and ease workplace pressures.This is a fascinating article and I'm including it in full after the break for those behind a pay wall. Fundamentally, the government is attacking test prep and over preparation - not for the same reasons we oppose it here -- better for the child -- but because it costs too much and parents are sticking to one child while the Party wants to increase the birth rate.
Parental focus on education in China can sometimes make American helicopter parenting seem quaint. Exam preparation courses begin in kindergarten.
You have to wade through the NYT neoliberal interpretation that test prep for everyone is a good thing. [Below the fold for entire article.]
China Targets Costly Tutoring Classes. Parents Want to Save Them.
Many families and experts say Beijing’s education overhaul will help the rich and make the system even more competitive for those who can barely afford it.
In China, the competitive pursuit of education — and the better life it promises — is relentless. So are the financial pressures it adds to families already dealing with climbing house prices, caring for aging parents and costly health care.
The burden of this pursuit has caught the attention of officials who want couples to have more children. China’s ruling Communist Party has tried to slow the education treadmill. It has banned homework, curbed livestreaming hours of online tutors and created more coveted slots at top universities.
Last week, it tried something bigger: barring private companies that offer after-school tutoring and targeting China’s $100 billion for-profit test-prep industry. The first limits are set to take place during the coming year, to be carried out by local governments.
The move, which will require companies that offer curriculum tutoring to register as nonprofits, is aimed at making life easier for parents who are overwhelmed by the financial pressures of educating their children. Yet parents and experts are skeptical it will work. The wealthy, they point out, will simply hire expensive private tutors, making education even more competitive and ultimately widening China’s yawning wealth gap.
Ruth Pearl, the mother of Daniel Pearl, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who was brutally murdered by Muslim extremists in Pakistan in 2002his kidnappers beheaded him on Feb. 1, 2002, recording a video of his last words — “My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish.”His murderers singled him out because he was American and JewishShe was born Eveline Rejwan on Nov. 11, 1935, in Baghdad. Her father, Joseph, was a tailor and ran an import business, and her mother, Victoria (Abada) Rejwan, was a homemaker.
Eveline was 5 when a failed coup led to an outbreak of anti-Jewish violence across Iraq. In what came to be known as the Farhud, Jewish-owned stores were ransacked and at least 179 Jews were killed. Her family hid in their home for days, protected by Arab neighbors, who told would-be looters, “There are no Jews here.”
Soon afterward the family moved to a suburb, but the violence continued. Joseph was beaten while riding his bicycle, resulting in the loss of vision in one eye; he later had to bribe a police officer to free his two sons after their arrest on false charges. Others were less lucky. Mrs. Pearl recalled seeing the bodies of Iraqi Jews hanging from gallows in a square.
“Growing up as a Jewish child in Baghdad,” she wrote in “I Am Jewish,” “left me with recurring nightmares of being chased by a knife-wielding Arab in the school’s stairway while 2,000 schoolmates screamed hysterically.”
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