| Global Times | 2012-8-27 22:30:03
By Ye Jun
Several local parents have leveled fraud charges against the organizer of a 100,000 yuan ($15,728) summer course that promised to teach their children to read a book in less than 20 seconds, local media reported Monday.
The organizer, the Shanghai Xinyu Education Training Center, advertised that it could help students learn to identify a playing card while blindfolded, among other feats of extrasensory perception (ESP), according to a report in the Oriental Morning Post. The 10-day course ended Friday.
About 30 children between 7 and 17 years old took part in the course, which was taught out of a makeshift classroom in a hotel in Qingpu district. On the last day of the course, a teacher with a microphone checked how many students had mastered the skills, according to the newspaper.
"I found that my child learned nothing except how to cheat," a parent surnamed Yang told the Oriental Morning Post.
The teachers there claimed that they could help students learn to correctly identify a playing card even after covering their eyes, but Yang found that his child could only do it by peeking through the cloth blindfold. A father of an 11-year-old told the newspaper that he confronted the training center and got his money refunded.
Phone calls to the Minhang district-based training center made by the Global Times went unanswered Monday.
Qingpu police said that three parents filed complaints against the center Saturday afternoon. "We will look into the case and investigate the center along with the city's education authorities and the industry and commerce administration," a police press officer told the Global Times.
Although the training center's curriculum sounds unbelievable, it caters to a growing number of parents who are willing to send their children anywhere to gain a competitive edge, said Xiong Bingqi, an education expert and vice president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute. But that doesn't mean that the course has educational value.
"No education theory supports the idea that these sorts of skills can be achieved in such a short period. Parents should learn to be more rational," Xiong told the Global Times.
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