Some people moan about a 40-hour work week, but wait until you find out how many hours students in China spend every week just to study.
In an in depth article by the Australian Financial Review, analysts looked closely at how kids in China spend 65-77 hours a week studying — almost double the amount of time spent in a regular week of work.
A school days starts at 7:30 a.m. and finishes at 5:30 in the afternoon. When a child gets home, a homework regime follows which usually means an additional three more hours. And even though Friday should be an easy night, students are given no break. They would need to spend three hours on Math tutoring in what they call a “cram school.”
This makes up for 65 hours in total of studying for an average teenager who goes to a local private school in China. Keep in mind that these are hours spent only on a weekday — this excludes a student’s weekend program.
During Saturdays, there is allotted time for basketball, computer games, and other hobbies, but at least six hours of studying are still required. On Sundays, students are back to their “cram schools” to study English and Physics for four hours. Later in the night, they will spend another two hours to do homework.
So all in all, most kids in China spend 77 hours a week studying — a revelation that would put lawyers and investment bankers to shame.
This grueling effort imposed by parents and teachers is to make sure that students go to a senior high school instead of a vocation training college for the last three years of his or her secondary education. But their place at the top of the list is not guaranteed. In Shanghai, only 60% of students are able to make it and those who succeed are excluded from taking the Gaokao — the country’s tough university entrance exam.
Similar to most part of the world, this sequence should lead to a high-paying white-collar job. However, an average Shanghai graduate can only expect to earn a salary of 5,000 yuan, or $1000 per month.
With this kind of strict pursuit, how soon before these kids get burnout?