Who is the winner between English and Chinese education systems?

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2015-08-20 11:40:36

Who is the winner between English and Chinese education systems?

The BBC documentary series Are Our Kids Tough Enough ? Chinese School spark global debate on education styles. [A screenshot from BBC website]

An English country village seemed the most unlikely place to determine the best education system between two nations a million kilometers apart culturally.

Five high school teachers from China seemed they were embarking on a mission impossible. Could they take 50 typical English students and expose them to the tough schooling regime typical in China?

The initial "shock reaction" leading to classroom rebellions pointed to a catastrophic failure. The fate and pride of education in China rested on this small group of teachers, assigned to a high school built in a village once serving as a staging post for horse drawn coaches travelling between London and the seaport of Portsmouth.

Activities alien to British children, like a 12 hour school day, morning exercises, flag-raising ceremonies and strict classroom disciplines, seemed to conspire to doom the month long experiment.

What was needed, said teacher Li Aiyun from an elite school in Nanjing, was a miracle.

After four weeks of intensive lessons, when tears were shed -- by both students and teachers -- the final test would come. Could 50 students of Bohunt School in Liphook, Hampshire, prove the Chinese system is best. Or would everyday English methods of education be the victor?

On the eve of exam day, school head Neil Strowger, had no doubt about the result he wanted.

"As head teacher I will be absolutely gutted if the Chinese way wins. That will be a bitter pill to swallow," he proclaimed, admitting the Chinese visiting teachers had had a difficult start to the unique experiment.

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