A top education official showed his support for the idea to delay the separation of sciences and arts education in high school. This was the first time Education Ministry officials in China have spoken about the controversial issue.
Vice Minister of Education Zhang Xinsheng,a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top political advisory body, said students should be educated in both sciences and arts to have a better long-term educational development in the future.
He said, ‘It is better to delay the separation of sciences and arts education in high school. Personally, I think students should learn both sciences and arts subjects in senior high school.’
In early February, the Ministry of Education raised 20 important issues in various areas of China’s education system to collect public opinions and suggestions. Among them, the issue of whether the separation of sciences and arts subjects should be canceled has become a hot topic for the public.
The government is expected to decide whether to end the practice of students deciding to go in either sciences or arts streams in Chinese high schools before the end of August this year.
According to data from the ministry, 54 % of the people surveyed support the cancellation of separate streams in senior high school.
The education ministry will establish a long-term plan for education reform and development after it finished collecting suggestions at the end of February.
Many educational experts advocate the cancelling of separating the streams, as they believe the comprehensive development of individuals requires knowledge of both the sciences and arts.
China Daily reported that another NPC deputy Zhou Hongyu, president of an educational research institution, firmly advocates the separation into arts and sciences streams.
Zhou believes that the separation has not resulted in the appearance of students who are ignorant in either sciences or arts. If the separation is cancelled at once and the curriculum isn’t reformed and implemented in a timely manner, the quality of education in high schools will decline.