Return to the essence of education, let the children grow up in a comprehensive and healthy manner

Changes in out-of-school training for students at the compulsory education stage before and after the "double reduction"

After the "double reduction" period, what is the specific situation of the burden of homework and off-campus training for primary and junior high school students in China's compulsory education stage?

What is the impact of the excessive burden of homework and off-campus training on the overall development of students?

After the start of this fall semester, how effective is the implementation of the "double reduction" measures across the country?

 Since 2013, the China Education Tracking Survey (CEPS) organized and implemented by the China Survey and Data Center of Renmin University of China has surveyed more than 40,000 students and their parents, Teachers and school leaders have conducted continuous investigations on a wide range of topics in the field of basic education.

During the summer vacation and after the start of the fall semester this year, a special survey was launched on the implementation of the "double reduction" work and the opinions and opinions of various related parties. Let us take a look at the data.

  Data survey results in recent years show that 42.2% of the parents of students in China’s current compulsory education hope that their children can get a master’s degree or above, and 53.5% want their children to get a bachelor’s degree. The total of the two is 95.7%, which is in line with China’s current There is a big gap in the capacity of higher education.

Moreover, only 31.4% of parents indicated that they could accept their children to be transferred to vocational schools after graduating from junior high school.

  While full of high expectations for the education of their children, parents also show a high degree of education anxiety.

84.1% of the parents of elementary and junior high school students agreed with the statement that “children receive a comprehensive and good education, which is the most effective means to deal with fierce social competition in the future”, and 82.1% of parents agree that “can elementary or middle school get a good school” It is very important for the development of the child.” 54.6% of the parents agreed that “parents need to do everything possible to provide the child with the most favorable conditions, at least not worse than most other children.” 54.5% of the parents agreed that “if the child fails to pass the exam The probability of success in life will be greatly reduced.” 47.6% of parents agreed that “no matter how much time, energy and money parents invest in their children’s education, it’s not too much.” 46.1% of parents agreed that “the success of children’s education requires At the expense of a certain amount of current happiness, 22.3% of the parents even think that “the child’s performance is worse than most children around, which is very embarrassing to the parents”, and 21.8% of the parents think that “the child’s academic performance is not good. Well, it is the manifestation of parents' failure in their children's education."

Parents of students in China’s compulsory education stage generally have a high level of educational expectations and educational anxiety for their children, which directly translates into pressure on their children’s learning requirements and off-campus training.

Before the "double reduction", in the spring semester of 2021, 48.1% of elementary and junior high school students participated in subject-based off-campus training, and 50.8% of elementary school and junior high school students had participated in non-subject-based off-campus training courses or asked for tutors

  Data shows that in the spring semester of 2021 before the "double reduction" work is fully implemented, the average time for first-grade pupils to complete the written homework assigned by the school after class is 0.3 hours, second-grade students 1.1 hours, third-grade students 1.3 hours, and fourth-grade students. It is 1.5 hours for grade students, 1.5 hours for fifth grade students, 1.5 hours for sixth grade students, 1.6 hours for seventh grade students, 2.1 hours for eighth grade students, and an average of 2.2 hours for ninth grade students.

Obviously, there is a certain gap with the goal of reducing the burden of writing homework in the first and second grades, the average completion time of written assignments in the third to sixth grades of elementary school is no more than 60 minutes, and the average time of writing homework in junior high schools is no more than 90 minutes.

Excessive homework burdens will squeeze students' sports time, social entertainment time, and even sleep time and other types of life time, which will affect the physical and mental health of students.

  The survey results show that in the spring semester of 2021, 48.1% of elementary and junior high school students participated in subject-based off-campus training, including participating in off-campus training classes or asking for tutors.

And from elementary school to junior high school, as the grade increases, the rate of students participating in subject-based off-campus training continues to increase.

One-third (33.3%) of the students in the first grade of elementary school participated in the subject-based off-campus training, and 41.6% of the second-year students participated in the subject-based off-campus training, 43.9% in the third grade, and 49.6% in the fourth grade. It was 49.7% in the fifth grade and 51.8% in the sixth grade.

At the junior high school stage, the proportion of students participating in subject-based off-campus training is more than half, and it is increasing year by year, with 54.6%, 55.4%, and 56.6% in the seventh to ninth grades respectively.

Except for 51.9% of students in the compulsory education stage who did not participate in subject-based off-campus training, 17.8% participated in one subject-based off-campus training, 16.8% participated in two subject-based off-campus training, and 13.6% participated in three or more subjects Class off-campus training.

Nearly half of these elementary and junior high school students participating in subject-based off-campus training spend an average of 4 hours per week, and the average tuition expenditure for the semester is 7341 yuan.

  In terms of non-disciplinary off-campus training in sports, music, art, etc., in the spring semester of 2021, 50.8% of elementary and junior high school students have participated in non-disciplinary off-campus training classes or have asked for private tutors.

This group of students spend an average of 3.9 hours per week, and the average semester expenditure is 6,328 yuan.

Different from the trend that the participation rate of subject-based off-campus training increases with the increase of grade, non-disciplinary off-campus training shows a trend of rapid decline with the growth of grade.

The proportion of first-year pupils participating in non-disciplinary off-campus training is as high as 67.4%, 63.0% in second grade, 63.9% in third grade, and 55.1% in fourth grade, which is below 60%, 51.3% in fifth grade, and 52.7% in sixth grade. .

At the junior high school stage, the proportion of students participating in non-disciplinary off-campus training dropped sharply, with 38.1% in seventh grade and 25.4% in eighth grade, while only 17.9% of students in ninth grade participated in non-disciplinary off-campus training.

Such two trends, one increase and one decrease, make that during the compulsory education stage, off-campus training increasingly presents a pattern of subject-based training as the grade grows.

  According to survey data, in 2020, families with elementary and junior high school students will spend an average of 21,487 yuan on out-of-school training for their children, with a median expenditure of 10,000 yuan, accounting for an average of 15.3% of the family’s total income in 2020. 25.1% of families’ children’s out-of-school training expenditures reached or exceeded 20% of the total family income, and 10.3% of families’ children’s out-of-school training expenditures reached or exceeded 30% of the family’s total income.

Therefore, off-campus training is not only a burden on the time and energy of students and parents, but also a heavier burden on family expenditure.

After the “double reduction”, 21.7% of elementary and junior high school students participated in subject-based off-campus training in the fall semester of 2021, and the percentage of non-subject-based off-campus training was 38.9%.

  Entering the fall semester of 2021 when the "double reduction" work is fully implemented, data shows that 21.7% of primary and junior high school students participate in subject-based off-campus training, which is 26.4 percentage points lower than the participation rate in the spring semester.

This part of the students spend an average of 5.4 hours a week, and the per capita semester expenditure is 7,326 yuan.

Compared with the previous semester, the average weekly time has increased by 1.4 hours, while the per capita semester expenditure has decreased by 15 yuan. This shows that the implementation of various measures for the “double reduction” work has not only significantly reduced the number of students participating in subject-based off-campus training, but also It also reduces the fees for off-campus training for subjects and reduces the burden on parents.

  In the fall semester of 2021, the rate of students participating in non-disciplinary off-campus training in compulsory education was 38.9%, a decrease of 10.9% compared with the previous semester.

This part of the students participating in non-disciplinary off-campus training spends an average of 3.8 hours a week, which is 0.1 hour less than the previous semester; the semester expenditure is 5600 yuan, which is 728 yuan less than the previous semester.

Compared with last semester, both time and expenditure have decreased, but the rate of decrease in expenditure is even greater.

It once again shows that the implementation of the "double reduction" work not only reduces the participation rate of off-campus training, but also promotes the decline in the level of off-campus training fees.

Most parents approve of the government's measures to regulate off-campus training institutions, and over 70% of parents are satisfied with the after-school services provided by the school this semester

  The survey results show that 42.6% of the parents of elementary and junior high school students strongly agree with the government’s measures to regulate off-campus training institutions, and 29.6% of the parents agree, and the two total 72.2%; 16.9% of the parents disagreed; only 6.4% Parents disagree more, 4.5% of parents disagree very much. Taken together, less than one in ten parents disagree with the government's measures to regulate off-campus training institutions.

  Among the specific regulations of the government to regulate off-campus training institutions, parents have the highest degree of support for the requirement that “off-school or online training ends no later than nine o’clock in the evening”, reaching 83.6%; “Online training shall not be provided and disseminated Taking photos to search questions and other bad learning methods that inert students’ thinking ability and affect students’ independent thinking", the support rate is 78.1%; "non-disciplinary training institutions are strictly prohibited from engaging in subject training", the support rate is 66.6%; "subject training institutions It must be registered as a non-profit organization", with a support rate of 66.4%; and "off-campus training institutions shall not occupy national statutory holidays, rest days and winter and summer vacations to organize subject training" the support rate is 62.2%; for "outside school training is strictly prohibited" The provision of "providing overseas education courses" has relatively the lowest degree of support, but still has a support rate of 55.4%.

  The comprehensive provision of after-school services at the compulsory education stage is one of the important contents of the implementation of the "double reduction" work.

The survey shows that in the fall semester of 2021, 65.6% of compulsory education schools across the country provided after-school services.

44.5% of the schools in this part of the school only started to provide after-school services this semester.

For students whose parents have difficulty picking up their children, 58.3% of schools provide extended custody services.

Another 19.6% of school after-school services involve third-party institutions and individuals.

  Regarding the content of after-school services, 86.4% of schools organized the completion of homework, 79.6% of schools arranged for students to read independently, 68.6% of schools carried out moral education, physical education, aesthetic education, and labor education, 60.2% of schools organized science popularization activities, and 58.2 % Of schools organize club activities.

In the survey, 14.4% of the parents also reported that the school had the phenomenon of teaching new lessons or group supplementary lessons in after-school services.

  Regarding the after-school services of their children’s school this semester, 33.0% of the parents said they were very satisfied, 37.2% of the parents said they were quite satisfied, and the two totaled 70.2%; 23.5% of the parents thought the school’s after-school services were average; only 3.9% Of parents are relatively dissatisfied with the school’s after-school services this semester, 2.4% of the parents are very dissatisfied, the two are combined, less than 10% of the parents who are dissatisfied with the after-school services provided by their children’s school this semester.

Form a joint force to ensure the continuous and in-depth progress of the "double reduction" work, so that basic education returns to its essence at both the macro and micro levels

  Judging from the survey data since the beginning of the fall semester of 2021, all parts of the country have achieved tangible results in implementing the "double reduction" work.

At the same time, we should have a full understanding of the complexity and long-term nature of implementing the "double reduction" task in our country.

  Whether it is to reduce the burden of students’ homework or to manage the off-campus training, which is called "shadow education" internationally, Japan and South Korea have all experienced a long process. They have gone through detours and have many experiences and lessons. .

The deepening and continuation of the "double reduction" work requires a deep and clear understanding of the hazards of the overburden of students' homework and extra-school training: First, the excessive and disorderly development of extra-school training has squeezed school education and affected compulsory education. As a function of a basic public service, education fairness is undermined.

Second, the excessive burden of students’ homework and off-campus training has led to taking academic performance as the main goal, while neglecting the cultivation and development of students’ physical and mental health, comprehensive abilities, and sound personality and values.

Data from the China Education Tracking Survey (CEPS) shows that in the ninth grade of junior high school, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among students was 15.2%, the prevalence of myopia was 66.4%, and the suspected depression rate was 13.6%. These should be taken seriously. .

Third, it leads to vicious competition between students and parents in education investment, but it has no clear effect on the improvement of students' most basic abilities.

Data from the China Education Tracking Survey (CEPS) shows that off-campus training only improves students' test scores in some subjects, but has nothing to do with the development and improvement of students' basic cognitive abilities and creativity.

Therefore, various government departments, schools, families, and all relevant social forces should form a joint force to ensure the continuous and deepening of the "double reduction" work, so that China's basic education returns to its essence at both the macro and micro levels, and promotes the overall development of students. grow healthy.

(Author: Wang Weidong, Director of the Institute of Social Psychology, Renmin University of China, and Project Leader of China Education Tracking Survey [CEPS])

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