Girls should start schooling earlier than boys: PKU professor Published: 2012-10-22 17:23:40

An expert from Peking University is advocating that boys and girls start school at different ages, taking into account their differences in intelligence development, the Hubei-based Wuhan Evening News reported on October 22.

Wu Bihu, a professor of tourism development at Peking University, suggested on his Sina Weibo account that girls start school between the ages of 6 and 7, while boys between 7 and 8.

"Having a uniform starting age for school goes against education theory, because mental development in boys is usually two years behind that of girls," Wu posted on September 24.

The post sparked discussions online among parents over the proper schooling age, as China's current compulsory education law stipulates that all children start at 6 years old.

Those who are not be able to be enrolled at 6 due to physical or resource limitations could delay their schooling after obtaining approval from local education authorities. 


@以维权促维稳: Despite the difference between girls and boys, Professor Wu does not take children's individual differences into consideration. Does that mean that we need to set different school age for different children in accordance with the pre-school education they received? Personally, it's not necessary to set a uniform school age either at 6 or 7 years old. We can leave the choice to parents as long as children will be enrolled in school by the time they are 8 years old.

@整日迷糊: I think Wu's suggestion is applicable. Girls between 6 and 7 years old show their superior comprehension ability compared with boys. Starting the school too early might cause negative impact on children, who may feel under a great pressure. 

@无声静候875733: The education authority should not stipulate a detailed school age for children. They can start school as soon as they have the ability to do so. People differ in terms of intelligence, a reason why some older children are not as quick on the uptake as younger ones.

@狐狸的智慧7763: Instead of debating on the proper age for children to start school, I think we should pay more attention to how to replace test-oriented education with a quality-oriented alternative, ways to help students receive a more practical education and help them enjoy learning.

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