'Outdated teaching' decried

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 May, 1997, 12:00am

More than half of the Chinese student population say their creativity is stifled by outdated teaching methods and a dogmatic emphasis on examinations, according to a survey.

Of the 2,000 students polled in 10 universities and colleges and at 10 high schools, 53 per cent complained that 'education methods conflict with the cultivation of creativity'.

The survey was carried out by the China University of Political Science and Law.

University vice-president Ma Kangmei, one of the survey's main organisers, said the results showed 'the current examination-oriented education system is not favourable to the development of youngsters' creativity'.

Some 78 per cent of students complained that their teachers demanded complete passivity and obedience, while only 42 per cent described their course textbooks as useful. 'The survey showed textbooks are outdated and have lost contact with reality,' Mr Ma said.

Half the college students and about 30 per cent of high school students also accused their teachers of using 'cramming' methods to prepare them for examinations, which tested memory rather than imagination.

'Creativity should be the prime theme of education,' Mr Ma said, adding that students could only succeed in their future careers if they learned how to use their knowledge creatively.