Thursday, April 9, 2009


I always find the desperate need for education funny. In Asia, especially East Asia, education is a must with higher education especially important. Places in the top universities are almost a national sport in themselves; highly competitive national events when roads can be closed and airplanes can be diverted to ensure that students has the peace and quiet needed for the exams.

China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, even Singapore are all guilty of this in various degrees. So it’s not surprise that heavy penalties are imposed on people who tried to cheat on these exams. However a case in China takes the cake. Eight Chinese parents tried to help their children cheat at university entrance exams by using high-tech communications equipment, like mobile phones and wireless earpieces. They were found out and have been jailed after being found guilty of illegally obtaining state secrets.

Yes you read that right! Exams are state secrets in China! That’s how important they are in China. They are STATE SECRETS! Say this out loud; Exams are state secrets. Laughing yet?


Anonymous said...

Hi Ghost,

Asia particulary those countries you mentioned have inherited a Confucian ethics that overly estimate the value of formal education.

This may appear to give them better minds but I don't think formal education is everything. Too much formal education in fact can make a person square and yet he/she can be unaware of this. He/she might tend to approach problems in a less open-ended, less creative, less academic manner than individuals with little education.

People in the West are not as highly stressed up about education as Confucianist Asians but they are not doing that badly either. In fact some courses are so laid back in the West that one friend who is overseas on a govt sponsorship called back to complain about the utter lack of regimentation. Still he will come back with a qualification esteemed by the govt and his employer. I would think many overseas graduates have much better times earning their degrees.

How stupid of Asian culture and education system which puts so much stress on their people to earn their academic qualification. Our A levels alone are known be a pressure cooker.

It is a peculiarity of Asian conservativeness to preserve past practices. While on one hand this is a strength, on the other it can be a defect.

This mass thinking of these Asian countries as it applies to academic pursuits is like other runaway syndromes in society. Even if policy-makers know how silly and even repressive such a phenonmenon can be, nobody dares to put a stop to it or perhaps simply prefers to let it continue because he or she had to struggle to make it, and would'nt want to see others have an easy way.

Ghost said...

True that Asia over-rate the value of formal education but it seems to me it's getting worse and worse. Surely this isn't the first time people tried to cheat at exams, but State Secrets? That's just taking it too far in my view