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Bloomberg Businessweek: China Built a Global Economy in 40 Years. Now it Has a New Plan

News / December 16, 2018

Bloomberg Businessweek writes on China's historic economic reforms and the future to come, quoting Scott Rozelle and REAP's work on education and human capacity building in rural China. Read full text here.


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People's News: Nobel Prize winner draws global attention to issues with early childhood development in rural China at international conference co-hosted by REAP and Alibaba

News / November 17, 2018

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Left-behind children a poignant reminder of the cost of China’s development

Blogs / May 26, 2018

Researchers from Stanford University, working together with Chinese academics, found a high drop-out rate in rural China. Many of the drop-outs are left-behind children. 

Constrained by time and money, migrant parents usually manage to go home only once a year, typically during the Lunar New Year. The lack of interaction between parents and children has led to psychological and developmental problems for some children. 

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Reducing tapeworm infection could improve academic performance, reduce poverty, Stanford research suggests

News / May 14, 2018

A Stanford-led study in China has revealed for the first time high levels of a potentially fatal tapeworm infection among school-age children. The researchers suggest solutions that could reduce infections in this sensitive age range and possibly improve education outcomes and reduce poverty.

The study, published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, focuses on Taenia solium, a tapeworm that infects millions of impoverished people worldwide and can cause a disorder of the central nervous system called neurocysticercosis. The World Health Organization estimates that the infection is one of the leading causes of epilepsy in the developing world and results in 29 percent of epilepsy cases in endemic areas. It is thought to affect about 7 million people in China alone.

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How China Plans to Feed 1.4 Billion Growing Appetites

News / February 14, 2018

A 2016 McKinsey & Company study found that nearly three-quarters of Chinese customers worry that the food they eat is harmful to their health. The vast number of small farms makes China’s food system “almost completely unmanageable in terms of food safety,” says Scott Rozelle, an expert on rural China at Stanford University.

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南风窗年度人物|罗斯高: 关注中国农村教育“看不见的问题"

News / January 29, 2018



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China's Top Economic Risk? Education.

News / November 19, 2017

Making matters worse are the millions of children in rural areas who are being raised by their extended families. With their parents working in faraway cities, these children tend to fare much worse in school and on IQ tests. Stanford economist Scott Rozelle has referred to this as an "invisible crisis" in the making: In the coming decades, he estimates, some 400 million underprepared Chinese could be looking for work. His research has touched such a nerve that even state media has given it serious coverage.

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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."

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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。





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News / August 8, 2016


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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.
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News / August 1, 2016






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