Children across China were given much-needed respite to enjoy a fun-filled holiday as they embarked on their first winter vacation after the implementation of the “double discount” policy, rolled out in July of last year to ease the pressures of excessive schoolwork and off-campus tutoring.
Children are no longer drowned in homework and extra lessons during the winter holidays. “I have never had such a pleasant winter vacation since entering primary school,” said 12-year-old Chang Xinyue in Taiyuan, north China’s Shanxi province.
Sixth grade vacation plan, all by herself, has no private lessons and loads of homework. Instead, she has plenty of time for her hobbies.
His vacation schedule includes three hours of study each day, playing chess, reading, and exercising.
“Before, she was exhausted after a full day of tutoring, but now she is definitely more motivated,” Chang’s mother said with a sense of pride.
For more than a decade, the same scenes played out in every Chinese household with a school-aged child during the holidays – children overwhelmed with extra lessons and parents or grandparents busy commuting between these centers training, because holidays are considered “golden opportunities”. to make up for missed classes and improve preparation for the upcoming semester.
The “double discount” policy was put in place at a time when students and parents were feeling the pressure of excessive academic load and overheated off-campus tutoring. This decision, which brought relief to both parties, brought the main education tribunal back to campus and freed children from having to take the plunge, which harms their overall development.
Chinese education authorities reiterated their stance earlier this month ahead of the winter break to ensure the policy is strictly followed.
“The ‘double discount’ policy relieves children from strenuous studies and benefits their overall abilities,” said Ma Huiqin from the Taiyuan Education Bureau.
Instead of being stuck with textbooks, children are now more encouraged to get outside, have fun, and spend more time on physical and mental well-being.
Xu Haoxin, a second-grade student from Taiyuan, is looking forward to the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. “I will learn about the Winter Olympics in advance and watch the games with my parents. I I will also pay close attention to the medal count,” Xu said.
Meanwhile, Li Siqi, a third-grade student from Lanzhou City, northwest China’s Gansu Province, spends most of his vacation time reading and practicing.
“Swimming and football are his favorite sports. Since he is interested, we will do our best to give him a happy childhood,” Li’s mother said.
Bai Xiaojing, another parent from Lanzhou, said she used to stuff her child with various training classes during the holidays, which didn’t help school performance much but “got everyone tired and tense. the parent-child relationship.
“The new policy has also caused parents like us to reflect and reassess what type of education is appropriate and best suited for our children,” she said.
Psychologists believe that the “double reduction” policy is beneficial for the mental and physical health of the younger generation.
An early attachment relationship is key to bonding a child with the primary caregiver, developing a healthy personality and good coping skills, said Tian Feng of the Chinese Mental Health Association.
“If the early attachment relationship is not well established, psychological problems such as impulsiveness, anxiety and depression will easily arise during adolescence. Winter holidays under the new policy offer parents the opportunity to observe, understand and communicate with their children,” Tian added.
After the implementation of the new policy, off-campus off-campus training institutions that offer course programs were reduced by 83.8%, and online training institutions were reduced by 84.1%, with over 91% of students now participating in extracurricular services. on campus, the Department of Education said at a press conference in December last year.
The proportion of students able to complete written assignments on time has also increased, from 46 percent before the new policy was implemented to more than 90 percent now, the ministry added.