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A Disappointed Foreign Teacher in China

Silhouette is the name of a German teacher who worked as a teacher in a private school in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. After eight years, he quit and returned home. Frustrated, he said: “I will never witness true education in China in my lifetime!” Silhouette’s objections, listed below, prompted an enthusiastic debate among China’s netizens.

1. China doesn’t teach living skills

Silhouette saw that having to focus only on facts has overburdened Chinese students. For example, a 4-year-old memorizing words for a spelling test, and a 5-year-old focusing only on addition and subtraction. Of course, these are skills that need to be learned, but in comparison, the 8-year-old German student learns light botany through gardening, and the assembly of simple toys. As a result the 18-year-old German teenager is more versatile than the 28-year-old Chinese adult.

2. Critical thinking is not exercised

Silhouette points out that starting in kindergarten, Chinese students are constantly inundated with patriotism and the ideology of loving the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). There is no teaching of the humanities, such as philosophy and logic, and the political lessons are beyond the comprehension of the students. Even the teachers do not understand the concepts they are teaching. The lessons only provide standard answers so students can pass standard examinations. This gives students the impression that learning is just for passing exams.

Humanity is the basis of personality. That is, a healthy and positive personality is developed and nurtured by human experiences. Without a healthy personality, how can a person love himself, his family, or society?

Foreign children establish their capabilities through happy playing while the Chinese education system does not allow for this. (Image: Adobe Stock)
Foreign children establish their capabilities through happy playing, while the Chinese education system does not allow for this. (Image: Adobe Stock)

3. Chinese education is captive

Silhouette observed that in many Chinese schools, the students are under full supervision by their teachers during the school day. The students are treated like a herd of captive sheep. At home, they are kept in their rooms to do homework, eat, sleep, and so on. This captive process can last for 15 years.

The outraged German thinks that Chinese education wastes the most precious years of children by having them learn meaningless material. The system deprives people of the chances to learn, to discuss, and to think. Instead, memorization is the exclusive means of learning.

Silhouette summarized his irritation with the Chinese education system: “Such a negative mode of education is actually destructive to humanity and is a great crime to humankind.”

Translated by Jean Chen

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David Jirard
For several years David has been a contributor to various news sites that focus on the news and culture of China.

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