Filter results Close
Ex: author name, topic, etc.
  • expanded
  • expanded
  • expanded
  • expanded
  • expanded
  • expanded
  • expanded
  • expanded

One in three Chinese children faces an education apocalypse.

News / September 21, 2017

Glasses askew and gray hair tousled, Scott Rozelle jumps into a corral filled with rubber balls and starts mixing it up with several toddlers. The kids pelt the 62-year-old economist with balls, and squealing, jump onto his lap. As the battle rages, Rozelle chatters in Mandarin with mothers and grandmothers watching the action. 

Elsewhere in this early childhood education center in centralChina, youngsters are riding rocking horses, clambering on a jungle gym, thimbing through picture books, or taking part in group reading. Once a week, caregivers get one-on-one coaching on how to read to toddlers and play educational games. The center is part of an ambitious experiment Rozelle is leading that aims to find solutions to what he sees as a crisis of gargantuan proportions in China: the intellectual stunting of roughly one-third of the population. "This is the biggest problem China is facing that nobody's ever heard about," says Rozelle, a professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Surveys by Rozelle's team have found that more than half of eighth graders in poor rural areas in China have IQs below 90, leaving them struggling to keep up with te fast-paced official curriculum. A third or more of rural kids, he says, don't complete junior high. Factoring in the 15% or so of urban kids who fall at the low end of IQ scores, Rozelle makes a stunning forecast: About 400 million future working-age Chinese, he says, "are in danger of becoming cognitively handicapped."

Show body Show body

New York Times: China’s School Dropouts a Growing Concern for Economy in Transition

News / August 31, 2017

"This is the biggest problem that China faces that no one knows about. This is an invisible problem," said Scott Rozelle, co-director of the Rural Education Action Program (REAP) at Stanford University, "China has the lowest levels of human capital (out of all the middle income countries in the world today). China is lower than South Africa, lower than Turkey. We think that's related to when they were babies, they didn't develop well.”

Show body Show body

The Economist: In Poor Countries it is Easier Than Ever to See a Medic

News / August 31, 2017

Following the formulation of the UN’s “sustainable development” goals in 2015, governments worldwide have committed to expanding access to primary care services. Experts believe that primary care can address about 90% of health problems and it has been found to be related to higher life expectancy and lower child mortality rates. However, experts are concerned that a lack of access to primary care and the poor quality of health services will be incapable of meeting the growing burden of chronic illness in poor countries. 

The WHO calculated that about 400 million people globally are unable to access “essential health services,” such as antenatal care and treatment for tuberculosis. However, this figure does not take into account the global burden of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Non-communicable diseases are expected to account for over 70% of deaths in developing countries by 2020, but findings from the World Bank and WHO demonstrate that access to treatments for these diseases are severely deficient. For example, it is estimated that more than half of individuals in developing countries with hypertension are not aware they have this condition, and between 24% and 62% of individuals with diabetes do not receive treatment.

Show body Show body

China’s Rural Children Are Cognitively Delayed, Survey Shows

News / July 13, 2017

Rural Chinese children have a significant delay in their cognitive development compared with their urban counterparts, researchers have found, which could potentially hinder the country’s economic development.

Show body Show body

Will Chinese Living Standards Ever Surpass Those in the USA?

Blogs / February 7, 2017

Possibly the single most important of the tensions stoked up by President Trump is the rivalry between the United States and China. Economic strength will be the ultimate determinant of this struggle for the position of Top Nation.

The annual output in China is currently around $10 trillion a year, compared to the $17 trillion in America.

Over the past 30 years, the US grown at an annual average rate of 2.4 per cent, and China by 9.3 per cent. 

Show body Show body

The Debate Over the Alleged Higher Education Glut in China

Blogs / February 1, 2017

Hongbin Li, Prashant Loyalka, Scott Rozelle, and Binzhen Wu recently published a piece in the Journal of Economic Perspectives particularly worth flagging. It touches on one of the hotter social debates in China over the past few years: whether the massive expansion of college education since 1999 has created an over-supply of graduates, or is just the beginning of the necessary transformation of the education system to meet the needs of a modern economy.

Show body Show body

Bloomberg: China’s Rural Poor Bear the Brunt of the Nation’s Aging Crisis

News / January 4, 2017

The outlines of China’s demographic challenge are well-known: By 2050 almost 27 percent of the population will be 65 or older, up from around 10 percent in 2015. Less recognized is that the crisis will hit hardest in rural villages.

Show body Show body

Economist: Give Me a Child

News / October 29, 2016

The Lancet reckons that 43% of under-fives in poor countries, in other words about 250m kids, will fail to meet their “developmental potential” because of avoidable deficiencies in early childhood development (ECD).

Show body Show body

Caixin: Poor Parenting Hinders Development of China's Rural Children, Study Shows

News / October 20, 2016

Children in rural areas of China suffer from slow cognitive development due to a lack of proper parenting and nutrition, casting a shadow over the future of the country's economy, a Stanford University study shows.

Scott Rozelle, co-director of the Stanford University Rural Education Action Program (REAP), told Caixin that more than half of the toddlers 24 to 30 months old and about 40% of the infants 6 to 18 months old scored below average in IQ tests. The average IQ score for these age groups should range between 90 to 109.

Show body Show body

The Winners of the Clearly Vision Prize

News / October 17, 2016

The winners of the Clearly Vision Prize will share cash prizes totalling $250,000 to help them accelerate their progress and move us another step down the road towards a world where everyone can see.

Show body Show body

Smart Focus - Franchising a Sustainable Approach for School Eye Health in China

News / October 11, 2016

The Rural Education Action Program (REAP), an impact-evaluation organization, aims to inform sound education, health and nutrition policy in China. Since 2011, REAP’s five randomized controlled trials have shown that quality vision care is the most cost-effective intervention for improving child welfare, and leads to large and sustainable increases in learning and school performance, along with positive spillovers to children who don’t have poor vision.

Show body Show body

Wired: These five startups are getting a share of £200,000 to help battle poor eyesight globally

News / October 11, 2016

The US-based startup has partnered with eyewear company Luxottica OneSight to help scale eye care to ten million people in China that do not have access to affordable services. According to research conducted by Stanford University, only one out of six rural children in China has a set of glasses and most rural students have never had an eye exam. The for-profit ran a pilot operation in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Sciences before launching in the provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu, where it distributes low-cost glasses, trains doctors and teachers, and constructs clinics. Teachers can test vision directly in classrooms and use mobile phones to automate patient referrals and prescriptions. Smart Focus argues the nonprofit route would never have been a sustainable or scalable way of helping the number of children that need eye care.

Show body Show body

After the One-Child Policy

Commentary / August 18, 2016

The sprawling National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) in China is one of the world’s largest bureaucraies. Its reach spreads from the bustling supercities on China’s eastern seaboard to the remote villages that dot the country’s vast rural interior. For decades, NHFPC officials had responsibility for enforcing China’s One Child Policy. In their relentless drive to keep fertility low, these officials sometimes fined noncompliant families into a state of poverty or even subjected women to forced abortion or sterilization procedures.


Show body Show body

Incentives key to China’s effort to upgrade higher education, Stanford expert says

News / August 18, 2016

China can improve its higher education system by introducing incentives for students and teachers so they take learning more seriously, a Stanford professor says. Under the current system, college students are essentially guaranteed a diploma, offering little motivation to excel.

Show body Show body

凤凰资讯:斯坦福教授谈中国大学:学习无动力 人人都能毕业

News / August 14, 2016

参考消息网8月14日报道 美媒称,中国的教育系统向来会引发最激烈的讨论。对其持批评态度的人表示,它是一种执迷于考试的官僚体制,培养出的学生擅长死记硬背,但在其他方面却无过人之处。持肯定态度的人则认为,它让孩子具备了格外扎实的技巧,尤其是在数学和科学方面。





Show body Show body


News / August 8, 2016


Show body Show body

NY Times: Weighing the Strengths and Shortcomings of China’s Education System

News / August 5, 2016
Nothing stirs passions quite like the debate over the Chinese school system. Critics say it is a test-obsessed bureaucracy that produces students who excel at reciting facts but not much else. Others argue that it is equipping children with exceptionally strong skills, particularly in math and science. Scott Rozelle, a Stanford University economist who runs a rural education program in China, is an author of a new study that challenges popular conceptions of Chinese schools.
Show body Show body


News / August 1, 2016






Show body Show body

NY Times: Study Finds Chinese Students Excel in Critical Thinking. Until College.

News / July 30, 2016

BEIJING — Chinese primary and secondary schools are often derided as grueling, test-driven institutions that churn out students who can recite basic facts but have little capacity for deep reasoning.

A new study, though, suggests that China is producing students with some of the strongest critical thinking skills in the world.

Show body Show body

The Future Foundation of Rural Education

News / July 1, 2016

Recently, an academic consensus has emerged that China should focus its human capital development in rural areas. Rural residents receive only an average of 9.6 years of education, which leaves them ill-prepared for high-skilled work. Yet with the increased mechanization of factories, manufacturing jobs will likely move offshore, or revert back to the West. This is a great risk for an economy transitioning from low-income to high-income status, such as China.

Show body Show body

China Abandoned its One-Child Policy - Now it must fix the gulf in education between city and country children

News / June 12, 2016

Around 8 per cent of rural children in China take college entrance exams, compared with 70 per cent of urban children. Reap officials believe this is due to a woeful lack of mental stimulation for rural youngsters between birth and the age of three. They say this is the crucial period for neurons to connect in the brain and set a path for a child’s mental ability later in life.

Show body Show body

The Economist: The Class Ceiling

News / June 4, 2016

NO CAR may honk nor lorry rumble near secondary schools on the two days next week when students are taking their university entrance exams, known as gaokao. Teenagers have been cramming for years for these tests, which they believe (with justification) will determine their entire future. Yet it is at an earlier stage of education that an individual’s life chances in China are usually mapped out, often in ways that are deeply unfair.

Show body Show body

Bloomberg: This is How China Prepares for the Big Test

News / June 2, 2016

Hu Huifeng, an 18-year-old high school senior from China’s Jiangxi province, is on a strict regimen. Seven days a week she rises by 6 a.m. for a day of classes in Chinese, English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology, with the last one finishing at 9:50 p.m. “Once I get home, I study until midnight,” she says.

Show body

Wall Street Journal: In Rural China, One-Child Policy Enforcers Push a New Message

News / May 16, 2016

For 30 years, Yu Huajian visited villages in rural China to remind couples to have just one child, to abide by the law and help the economy. He also pursued violators of the much-hated policy and oversaw abortions.

Since the one-child policy was abandoned in October, Mr. Yu and some of the half a million other family-planning workers have knocked on rural doors with a different message: How to play with children, read to them and raise them with better skills.

The shift was abrupt, but Mr. Yu said he has always done what he and leaders thought was best for the country.

Show body Show body

BBC News: Reinventing China's Abortion Police

News / May 4, 2016

Two-year-old Liu Siqi is curled up on her grandmother's lap, complaining of a tummy ache. A man tries to divert her with a squeaky plastic duck.

Show body Show body