China bans written exams for Grade 1 students

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Imagine how much relief children younger than eight years old would have if there were no exams. Photo:  Getty Images
Imagine how much relief children younger than eight years old would have if there were no exams. Photo: Getty Images

In its latest effort to relieve pressure on parents and learners, China has announced a ban on written examinations for six- and seven-year-old school pupils.

Chinese learners were required to take examinations from the first year of primary to the last year of high school, however, the Ministry of Education in China noted that the pressure is harming learners' physical and mental health.

"Exams are a necessary part of school education.... [but] some schools have problems like excessive exams, that cause excessive burden on students...this must be corrected," said the ministry in a statement.

On top of this, China is also reducing kids' gaming time to just three hours a week, so that children have enough time to play and just be kids without technology influencing them.

Read: Should my Grade R child get homework?

The announcement, which forms part wider reforms in China's education sector, received mixed reactions, with some saying it was a step in the right direction while others wonder how schools will measure student's abilities without exams.

With lockdown, parents have to be highly involved in their children's education, assisting them with topics they do not understand and helping them catch up, and prepare for examinations.

On top of that, parents must also help their children with homework. Add more than one child to the mix, across different grades, and it's easy to see how this burden could become overwhelming. 

Do you think South Africa should follow suit and ban written examinations for the lower Grades? Or is that a bad idea, considering our poor academic record? 

Source: BBC News

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