Here’s a fascinating example of how the economics of (or at least attitudes related to) starting school are 180-degrees different here and in China.
Whereas parents here desperately try to hold their students back a year, so that they’ll be the biggest, tallest and most well-read kid in school, in China they just want their kids to get in and get cranking. And they’ll go to extreme measures to do so.
Most primary schools in China follow a rigid standard of admitting only students who are at least six years old. A child who has missed the September 1 cutoff (national back-to-school day) by just a few days may have to wait a full year to be admitted.
Newspapers in Chongqing recently observed that some local mothers-to-be were demanding c-sections so they could give birth before the deadline. To those parents, pushing up their child’s date of birth even a few days earlier means an extra advantage in future competition.
Frankly, we like the Chinese attitude better. Do you really think that little of your kid that they need to be bigger and older than everyone else to do OK in school? Speaking as a September 2nd birthday that was the youngest in school, we liked it, and we liked being the youngest in our cohort. That being said, c-sections seem a little extreme.
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