Beijing: A "rebellious" student who made an impassioned speech attacking China's exam-oriented education system that stifles creativity has become an instant national hero in the country, winning platitudes from official and microblog media. (Agencies)
Jiang Chengbo, a student from east China's Jiangsu province, shocked his peers and drew wild applause when he attacked the country’s education system at a meeting attended by 3,000-strong audience at Qidong city's Huilong High School.
"Investigation has shown Chinese students rank at the bottom of the world in terms of calculation ability and creativity," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Jiang as saying in his speech on April 9, "which has fuelled debate across the country".
"Some of us live in jealousy. They are jealous of those who score higher in exams...Some of us live in loneliness. They bury themselves in doing exercises so that they don't have any good friends," he said.
Impressed by the impact his speech made among the rank and file of the students, the news agency carried a feature on him, saying that the speech propelled the teenager into "national spotlight".
"We cannot feel the love of parents, for they are either at work or pushing us to prepare for exams... We cannot feel the respect of teachers, for they are always forcing us to study for their enrollment rates...," Jiang said.
"His act came as a big surprise for the faculty as he had boldly replaced an original speech approved by his teacher with one that was rebellious, potentially irritating to school authorities," the news agency report said.
It said the speech has drawn plaudits from students and internet users, hitting a nerve on the controversial topic of "whether Chinese students spend too long on an examination treadmill".
Lakhs of Chinese students goes through most anxious moments every year, appearing for an annual entrance examination called Gaokao, which is held all over the country.
Success in the test will enable them to enter higher institutions of learning while bringing misery to those who failed to make it.
Jiang’s comments were widely received on Weibo, China’s Twitter with over 300 million subscribers.
"It is not strange to hear those words from the mouth of a high school student, and Jiang's courage to speak up is admirable.
A survey by China's Youth and Children Research Center shows that in 2010, about 80 percent of the country's primary and middle school students were not resting enough, getting an average of less than eight hours of sleep, even on weekends.
Beijing: A "rebellious" student who made an impassioned speech attacking China's exam-oriented education system that stifles creativity has become an instant national hero in the country, winning platitudes from official and microblog media.