High School Senior: China’s Education System Is Driving Me Crazy

chinese student
What's more important, a good son or good grades? (Image: daystar297 via Compfight cc)

This is the confession of a senior high school student in Anhui Province that was published by Southern Weekly in 2009.

China’s education system is driving me crazy. I don’t know how things got to the point where they are today.

My dad sent me to a school far from home, rented a house for me, and left me alone there when I was in the sixth grade of elementary school. He believed that way I would be able to concentrate on study, get good grades, and hopefully get into a good high school.

No one ever visited me during that period of time. One time I walked two hours to go home. When I saw my father, the first thing he asked about was my exam results. And as we were saying goodbye, he reminded me that getting good grades was what mattered most.

In my father’s opinion, all students are bad except for the top one or two in class. I never get any respect from him. In his eyes, only those who get top marks deserve respect.

Dad has done everything he could to force me to get good grades, almost unscrupulously. I’ll never forget what he said before my high school entry exam:

If you can’t get into the best school in the city, then just drop dead.

I ran back to my room in tears, unable to understand why a good school is more important than a son.

I’ve developed lots of health problems since high school. I have obsessive compulsive disorder and severe headaches which require injections for a week once they start. The doctor said it’s due to stress—high school was like a jail for me.

I’ve thought about suicide but China‘s education system isn’t worth it. I dislike my dad but I’ve never really hated him. What I hated most was the system that has made people judge others according to their academic performance.

I can’t handle it anymore. What should I do next?


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