English_Master February 26, 2016 No Comments
HAS CHINA WON THE WAR AGAINST ILLITERACY? China has pledged time and again to wipe out illiteracy, which makes the story of Zhou Jihan quite awkward. Not because she has yet to master her Chinese characters, but be­cause there are still many millions of Chinese struggling like her to learn to read and write as adults. That’s a shame Beijing would prefer you did not read about. Zhou, now 36, grew up in a poor family in a remote village in western China. Because even the local primary school charged high fees, Zhou’s parents made what the whole family considered an easy choice: Zhou’s brothers went to school, and she and her sisters stayed home to work on the farm. I never went to school once in my childhood,” said Zhou. “We followed the tradition of paying more attention to the boys of the family than to the girls.” She’s proud to have memorized more than 1,000 Chinese characters, but must learn 500 more to be considered literate. But Chinese authorities had promised more than painstaking progress. In 2000, the Chinese government announced that it would wipe out illiteracy among adults as well as ensure free nine year compulsory education for children by 2005. In 2002, state media reported...
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