Give fewer tests to make learning fun
Published: Sep 18, 2020 08:33 PM

Illustrations: Xia Qing/GT

Whenever a test is involved, everything becomes utilitarian - be it English, piano, or football. In China, many children, especially those in big cities like Beijing or Shanghai, start taking tests when they are really young. Most of them do so not out of interest, but in order to get the upper-hand in competition with peers. They do so to obtain certificates as stepping stones to enter better schools. Sometimes, institutions and parents make children put excessive energy into the training and tests. This creates negative impacts on both the physical and mental health of children. This week, the national youth campus football working team office banned football matches, trainings and grading tests for children aged three to six. They aim to prevent kids from adult-like training and competitions which may potentially endanger the children. China launched the football development plan in 2016 with the goal of "top class soccer nation" by 2050. Although kids are the hopes of the nation, it is far from realistic to expect them to become Messi at an early age. Relevant authorities and parents should draw the line between what is appropriate — and what is excessive. They should instead instill a spirit of fun with learning for both minds and bodies.