Nine colleges in China are giving students a weeklong spring break to “enjoy love” amid China’s declining birth rate.
The schools, which are run by the Fan Mei Education Group, announced last week that students and teachers are free to “go fall in love” from April 1 to 7. The break is an expansion of China’s one-day national holiday for Tomb-Sweeping day, which is also known as the Qingming Festival.
“The school implements the spring break system in the hope that students can learn to love nature, love life, and enjoy love,” Liang Guohui, deputy dean of the Mianyang Aviation Vocational College, said in a statement.
“I hope that students can go to see the green water and green mountains and feel the breath of spring. This will not only broaden students’ horizons and cultivate their sentiments, but also enrich and deepen the teaching content in the classroom,” Liang added.
The nine colleges are reportedly vocational schools for jobs in the aviation industry.
While the schools have been giving students and staff a weeklong spring break since 2019, this year’s break emphasizes romance with the theme, “enjoy the blossoms, go fall in love.”
According to Liu Ping, the deputy dean of Sichuan Southwest Aviation Vocational College, the school implemented its spring break program in response to students who asked for time to make new friends and “experience the beauty of love.”
As for their spring break homework, students are tasked with writing or filming travel diaries about their vacation. The colleges will also be having make-up classes on weekends to make up for the lost time. But for now, the school’s goal is to give their students and teachers a “concentrated” time to rest.
The announcement comes as China’s birth rate continues to decline, with only 9.56 million births recorded compared to 10.41 million deaths in 2022.
Some saw the colleges’ decision as an attempt to spark a population increase.
Experts predict that the nation’s population will decline by 109 million by 2050, which will have a significant impact on China’s economy.
As the aging population poses a threat to China’s economy, the government has been trying to offer incentives, including tax cuts, extended maternity leave and financial subsidies, to encourage couples to have more children.
The demographic declines are also present in other Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea. According to experts, the low fertility rates are a result of high childcare costs, low income, and changing attitudes toward marriage and gender equality among younger generations.