Poorly educated workers may threaten China’s future growth

accreditation

China has a growing economic problem: A massive education gap between rural and urban areas.

Privileged city kids attend well-funded schools and their after-school hours are crammed with music lessons and extra study sessions. Ninety percent of them go on to finish high school.But those kids lucky enough to be born in cities account for only about one-quarter of China’s children.

The rest live in villages in the countryside, where schools are underfunded and fees too high for the poorest families. As a result, only about 24% of rural students finish high school. While China is the second largest economy in the world, it has the least educated workforce of any middle-income country.

Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and Thailand all do better.

When factory jobs were abundant, uneducated and unskilled workers could still find well-paid employment. But labor-intensive industries are moving to lower wage countries such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia, and automation technology will destroy millions more manual jobs in coming years.

In the new services and technology-driven economy, China is going to need a much more educated work force.To try to narrow the education gap, the government has been pumping money into rural education.

New school complexes are popping up in backwaters, using technology to try to overcome a lack of qualified teachers. One promising experiment underway in 200 schools is live-streaming classes from elite urban high schools.

The early results are promising: More graduates and fewer dropouts. Bloomberg New Economy spent a week in Luquan in Yunnan province China to see how technology might be a solution to China's education crisis.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.85
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
20.42
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.48
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.94
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,802.28
0.0%
Silver
25.18
0.0%
Palladium
2,675.50
0.0%
Platinum
1,064.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
74.10
+0.4%
Top 40
61,933
+1.0%
All Share
68,064
+1.0%
Resource 10
66,904
+1.5%
Industrial 25
89,442
+0.7%
Financial 15
12,820
+1.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
In light of the recent looting, do you think a basic income grant is the right approach to deal with SA’s hunger and poverty problems?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It will go a long way in helping fight the symptoms of SA’s entrenched inequality, especially for those who are starving right now
20% - 1272 votes
SA’s problems are complex, and we instead need to spend that money on building and growing our economy, which will help the country in the long run
31% - 2020 votes
All grants are a problem as they foster a reliance on handouts
49% - 3198 votes
Vote