Why Baby O is going to Univeristy in China……

Read the story here.


  1. I'd disagree with you. Its the parents not the school thats makes a child's education. I don't my kid to be educated like a machine!!

  2. So we agree to disagree Kat. For crying out loud, I learnt Pythagoras when I was 11.

    In any event, I think the focus is wrong, the problem in the UK isn't the universities per se, but the quality of students that they have to admit.

  3. Hmm some wonderful math flashbacks bro..those chinese surely do love their math...hehe i reckon Baby O should be ok..hopefully the standards should improve in UK by then..having said all that..I would struggle right now to answer parts 2 and 3 of the Chinese test...
    Katharine:- Learning math is cool or maybe its just me...**Puts on geek glasses** ...err don't think it makes you a machine..or does it?

  4. Katherine:

    It's not about teaching people like machines. In secondary school, when I was in JSS 3 a friend of mine used to do SS3 students' Calculus homework in return for not getting into trouble with them. He was able to do that because he grew up in a math family ( Dad Math Professor, elder brother Pure Math Masters, etc).

    The standards are higher in so-called developing countries than in the developed one. Children will take whatever you give to them provided it's done right. I don't have a link but in one of my mom's psychology books I read about children being taught advanced molecular biology and picking it up very easily [mind you, they were all normal non-genius types].

    Sometimes I think we restrict people and their ability to learn.

  5. I read that on the BBC website with a wry smile. I do not think I learnt geometry by rote, I really had to understand why I was ending up with a particular QED.

    I think I left secondary school some 26 years ago and I could do question 1 in my head and the second would take a little more time in paper.

    The key things I learnt were how shapes work and how numbers work because we used 4-figure tables not calculators.

    Numeracy is one critical knowledge gem for opening up other areas of creative thinking in people.

    But Baby O would first have to master Chinese, I believe she has had to unlearn that to communicate in an easier language with her parents.

  6. Kathy: wow, you seem to be on your own with this one. It's not about being educated like a machine, it's about pushing a child to the limits of his ability, and not letting him get comfortable in mediocrity. Like Akin, I managed to do the UK University question all in my head, without writing a single line. As for the Chinese question, let's just say it's been a while since I've done anything like that !! I remember my nephew in school here, who isn't doing too well, his teachers were actually telling his parents not too worry, that he was doing the best he could, and that was what was important. If he was back in Nigeria, he'd have to repeat that year, until he was doing well enough.

    There's a reason that so many Africans and West Indians are sending their kids back home for secondary school, and it's not because they're after frequent flier miles !!

  7. We agree to dsiagree then. Its a shame though as I think too many people I know put too much emphasis on the school and forget the importance of other forms of learning. I learnt more about Engineering (which in fact I studied to degree) from going around building sites with my father and in fact living on one for a year than I ever did from my Maths and Physics education at school. Alot of my lecturers claimed that was why I got a 1st - understanding of the principles not the raw mathematics!

    For anyone that knows me at all, I don't condone mediocracy and am a permanent swot myself yet I went to one of the lowest performing secondary schools in the Midlands. My succsess? Parents that taught me HOW to learn, not WHAT I should learn. I liek to African and Asian commitment to education but I don't always like the method undertaken or the approach taken to children who struggle to learn.

  8. [...] Katharine: We agree to dsiagree then. Its a shame though as I think too many people I know put too much emphasis on... [...]

  9. [...] 2 years ago, I had a post showing the difference in what was expected from UK university students, and Chinese University pre-entry candidates (See here). [...]