I am going to have a writing exam soon and I am trying to write a few essays before the exam.
I will be grateful if you could help to see if my essay looks good. Thank you!
(My exam requires an essay of around 500 words)
-----------my prompt ------------
Lately, a book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
has raised a heated debate across the world on parental education. The author of the book, who is a Chinese mother, coerces her children to join many ECAs and seldom gives them time to relax. She claims that her teaching method is the best for preparing her children for the future, and condemns Western parents for letting their children waste too much time on doing meaningless things, such as spending hours on computer games and using social network websites.
You came across this newspaper article and had opinions about this. Write a letter to the editor to explain why such phenomenon happens, and what you think an ideal education should be.
----------and here goes my essay----------
January 10, 2011
I am writing in response to the newspaper article "Tiger Mom's Parenting Method Revealed" printed on January 09, 2011 to express my opinions concerning this.
In recent years, a rapidly rising number of schoolchildren have a higher academic qualification and a higher capability in achieving excellent results in non-academic areas like sports and arts. When the world becomes more competitive for everyone, parents naturally are desperate to equip their children well before sending them to the battlefield of survival in society. However, what is the best way for equipping the children? In other words, what should an ideal education be like?
When we look at what typical Chinese parents usually do, it is not surprising that their children's leisure time is mostly used up for attending after-school tutorial classes, music classes, swimming competitions, and many more learning activities.
For instance, simply take a look around you when you travel to Hong Kong; advertisements claiming "Come and you will secure yourself an A" printed by the tutorial centres are visible everywhere. You may also have an interview with the secondary students there. I can assure you that almost everyone has attained a certain grade certificate in a music exam already. Even when you read the Time Magazine, you are informed that Chinese students obtain a much higher average mathematics score than students from other places do. Therefore, these Chinese parents seem to put much emphasis on creating an excellent academic record and a beautifully embellished Curriculum Vitae(CV) for their children, so that they can secure a place at a prestigious university, thus securing a good job offer and making good money.
Tiger Mom is an extreme case here, and I do not blame her for doing so. This is because when many other Chinese students are working like what is illustrated above, it is normal that Tiger Mom does not want her daughters to get eliminated by the more and more competitive world. However, is it really necessary to push the children to an edge that they are only allowed to do things other than learning, learning, and learning?
When I stayed in Australia couple of years ago, I was so desperate to stay there forever, because I did not see the pressure I am still facing now, especially fearing that I might not be able to get a place at university, which depends solely on a single public exam. But in Australia, I enjoyed parties, exciting school life, and most importantly, leisure time. Certainly students there need to study, but they always have time to make friends and build relationships with the others, because they do not flock to tutorial centres crazily and attend all sorts of classes like what we do in Hong Kong. But honestly, who can afford to stop learning in this bustling city? Who can afford to put down their exam burden for a short break, only to regret having done so because others have already taken more tutorial classes and surpass you? I believe that Tiger Mom is holding this same theory.
However, this does not mean that an ideal education is measured by academic results alone; it should also provide opportunities for schoolchildren to explore the world and be more like a human being.
For instance, schoolchildren should be given time to relax. This is a time where they can have a rest and make more friends, which is essential for human survival, as humans live as a flock, not alone.
They should also be given time to explore their own interests, like by letting them join whatever activities they want rather than forcing them to take certain music exams, because interest is always the biggest driving force for active and effective learning.
Last but not least, parents and society should change their views on academic results, thus encouraging children to understand their capabilities better. This is because not every child is talented in studying. If the child is admitted to school or offered a job simply because of the academic record, this is not fair to individuals who are talented in areas like sports and arts; Education is after all to help individuals find their own talents and make good use of them.
The kind of culture I have just described above can certainly not change in the short run, but I sincerely hope that one day, parents will change their views on what a real education should be like, and so is Tiger Mom.