[photopress:bootcamp.jpg,full,alignright]You can either think of this as a great worry or as an example of the determination of Chinese parents to see their children get a running start. A new training program is aimed at young people and called a ‘cradle of future entrepreneurs.’ The registration fee is RMB66,000 ($8,700).
The program is from Wise Advisers Group, a Shanghai-based training and consulting company. It said the course was aimed at ’15-to-20-year-olds from entrepreneurs’ families who have a healthy body and mind, and at least a middle school education’.
The course has three 10-day summer camps held over a period of three years and is for 15-20-year-olds. A maximum of 40 students will be admitted and 27 places have already been filled.
A querulous outsider may complain it sounds more like boot camp than conventional education. Sun Baohong, deputy director of the Youth Institute at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), said, ‘In my opinion it’s more about commercial hype than real training.’
And some may think it priced well over the top for a basic training which might be seen as being to harsh, too early and unhelpful.
Not all parents agree. Businessman Wang Yiqian said he would be sending his two children to the camp.
He said, ‘The price is high but acceptable. Maybe the children will learn a lot and get a clearer idea of what they want to do in the future. I hope they will one day take over my companies.’
And perhaps the first thing they will then do is fire their father for actions not in keeping with modern education maxims.
The first 10-day camp runs from July 28 to August 6 and will be held at the former headquarters of the Huangpu Military Academy, China’s first military school of the modern era.
Su Jiancheng, president of Wise, said: ‘The program aims to shape personalities. It is a rigid, compact training program full of lectures and missions under military supervision, from morning till night. The fee also covers the cost of accommodation, meals and clothing.’
Sun Baohong of SASS said, ‘The camp could lead to the youngsters mistakenly seeing themselves as somehow part of an elite group that is superior to the rest of society, and that is not good for their personal growth. I don’t believe it is possible to develop one’s personality very much in just 10 days.’