China’s school curricula focused heavily on the Confucian canon of classical texts from 134BC until the early 20th century. Photo: Getty Images China’s school curricula focused heavily on the Confucian canon of classical texts from 134BC until the early 20th century. Photo: Getty Images
China’s school curricula focused heavily on the Confucian canon of classical texts from 134BC until the early 20th century. Photo: Getty Images
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

Chinese education through history, from the ‘Six Arts’ to Confucianism, repressive rote learning and Western-style modern schools

  • China had one of the most developed education systems in the world before the modern era, including ‘international schools’ that drew students from far and wide
  • But the rise of neo-Confucianism and the ‘eight-legged essay’ eventually forced much needed reforms, with Western-style modern schools introduced

China’s school curricula focused heavily on the Confucian canon of classical texts from 134BC until the early 20th century. Photo: Getty Images China’s school curricula focused heavily on the Confucian canon of classical texts from 134BC until the early 20th century. Photo: Getty Images
China’s school curricula focused heavily on the Confucian canon of classical texts from 134BC until the early 20th century. Photo: Getty Images
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Wee Kek Koon

Wee Kek Koon

Having lived his whole life in the modern cities of Singapore and Hong Kong, Wee Kek Koon has an inexplicable fascination with the past. He is constantly amazed by how much he can mine from China's history for his weekly column in Post Magazine, which he has written since 2005.