CPPCC Proposal Highlights Urban-Rural Gap
2011-03-16Editor:Sun Xi 
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"We should not encourage rural children to go to college." [news.bangkaow.com]

"We should not encourage rural children to go to college." [news.bangkaow.com]

"We should not encourage rural students to go to college, because they are unlikely to return to their home villages after graduating, and this is a tragedy," CPPCC member and China Ethnic Museum Curator Wang Ping said at a group discussion during the Fourth Session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Wang's remark provoked a storm of netizen outrage.

Wang said at the discussion that China's culture is mainly embodied in its rural residents. Rural areas are the cradle of the country's culture, and hence set apart from the urbanization process. "Compared to urban dwellers, a rural senior citizen of 80 or more is steeped in culture. He knows simply by looking at the sky whether or not tomorrow will bring rain, or how good this year's harvest will be. This is something educated types could never hope to do, and we should not use education as a yardstick for culture," Wang said.

"We should not encourage rural students to enter higher education, because a college degree does not guarantee a job, and graduates from rural areas are likely to stay in the town where there are more employment opportunities," Wang said, adding, "The cost of educating a college student is high and generally a heavy burden on rural households."

Wang holds that rural students would do better to return to their family homes after graduating from high school or technical school and concentrate on developing certain life skills.

Most netizens, however, thought Wang's proposal unacceptable.

"Why should young rural residents confine the rest of their lives to farming in remote mountainous areas?" one netizen asked.

The majority of netizens believe that knowledge can change anyone's fate, hence that rural students have equal potential through higher education to become the kind of talents employers seek.

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