The 21st Century Education Research Institute has released a study titled “2013 Research Report into Homeschooling in China,” Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday. According to the report, there are currently 18,000 kids being homeschooled nationwide and most are in developed areas such as Guangdong, Zhejiang and Beijing. However, an investigation by the newspaper revealed that Shenzhen is lagging behind other developed areas.
The research report found that the five main reasons why people choose to homeschool are: “Don’t share the education philosophy of local schools” (54.19%), “Feel that children progress too slowly in the school system” (9.5%), “Feel that children don’t get the respect they deserve when in school” (7.26%), “Children cannot bear school life” (6.07%) and “Religious beliefs” (5.59%).
After discovering that Shenzhen had fewer homeschooling families than other rich cities and most of those lived in remote parts of the city with fewer educational resources, the paper sent some reporters to interview some of the parents who had already taken the plunge.
Chen Jiwen says his son would get in trouble at school simply for showing curiosity. His mother also observed that in his kindergarten there were 30-40 kids in the class and a teacher would often just put the TV on to keep the kids quiet.
The couple decided to contact their family members in Nanjing to prepare themselves for homeschooling. They also went online to get the right resources, they told the paper. Chen and Yong make sure they set aside enough time for leisure and social activities for their son: “We teach him basic qualities, such as sincerity, kindness and a sense of fairness.”
Another reason cited for choosing to homeschool is cost effectiveness.
Mrs. Li, who lives near Wutong Mountain with her American husband, intends to school her daughter in her own tiny private bilingual school so that her daughter’s early education wastes less time and saves more money than her own.
“I believe an increasing number of parents will have the same idea as me,” Li told the paper.
Mr. Zeng, a professional middle-school teacher, shares Li’s belief that homeschooling is more cost effective.
Zhu Keheng of the Shenzhen Party Committee admitted that homeschooling had many advantages but stressed that it could have a negative effect on a child’s psychological and social development.