Majority of Parents Stressed Over Children’s Education: New Survey
Nearly two years after China moved to curtail private tutoring, a new survey has revealed that parents are still significantly stressed about their children’s studies.
The survey, conducted by online tech news platform youth36kr, showed that 92% of the 535 parents polled reported experiencing an emotional breakdown due to their children’s education. And more than 72% of parents expressed high levels of anxiety, rating it above five on a scale of ten.
In July 2021, China, in a bid to alleviate the academic workload and reduce the burden on students and parents, implemented an initiative known as shuangjian, or “double reduction.”
It focused on reducing the amount of time children in grades one through nine spend on homework and extracurricular classes. The policy was also aimed at easing child care responsibilities for Chinese couples by reducing the financial strain of after-school tutoring.
Some parents had complained then that the policy shift had caused more anxiety, partially since it meant they had to tutor their children themselves. Others, however, have welcomed the double reduction policy, saying it had helped reduce the academic burden on students.
Parents from the post-’80s generation, the oldest demographic in the survey, spent the most time tutoring their children — 77 minutes each day. Meanwhile, their counterparts from the post-’95 generation, who either take a more relaxed approach to parenting or are presently navigating the challenges of career advancement, spent an average of 54 minutes.
According to youth36kr, tutoring took up nearly half of the spare time of parents surveyed, who now also spend an average 29,239 yuan ($4,174) on children’s education.
“I feel like I could have a heart attack when tutoring my daughter,” Tai Xin, the mother of a first grader, told Sixth Tone. Instead of sitting by her daughter’s side to oversee her homework, the post-’85 generation mother says she now lets her do it on her own.
“As long as her teacher is satisfied, I don’t care whether she gets the math problem right or wrong, or whether she memorized the characters correctly,” she said. “I have my own work to do and want to live longer.”
(Header image: A mother supervising her son's homework in Wuhan, Dec. 27, 2019. VCG)