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China: Tiger Moms beware

Three desperate 10-year-old students jump off a building in China, trying to escape academic pressure.
China school competition 2011 09 22Enlarge
A Chinese girl waits outside a school in the suburbs of Beijing on Aug. 10, 2010. (AFP/Getty Images)

It is one of the more horrifying news items of the day:

Three 10-year-old students from the eastern Chinese jumped from the second story of a building to escape academic pressure. They are currently being treated in a local hospital, according to Radio Free Asia.

A video posted to the Chinese video-sharing site Youku showed interviews with three girls in hospital beds in Jiangxi province. 

"I have 12 pages [of homework in a weekend]," 10-year-old "Xiao Li" told the camera. "I'll get hit," her response when asked if there were consequences for unfinished homework.

Officials' from the girls' school have denied that the students were under extreme academic pressure or that they were struck. 

Many blame an intense culture of competition that has certainly helped propel China's economic rise but is also having a negative impact on younger and younger members of society. 

Widespread impatience, an approach to goal-setting entirely geared to material wealth and the constant need to compare oneself with others is harming Chinese people's overall happiness, according to recent studies.

Recently, China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that China has "one of the highest rates of suicide in the world."

Moreover, females in China are 25 percent more likely than men to commit suicide, which is largely a male phenomenon in other parts of the world. 

These issues are by no means confined to China. In India, where caning is rife in schools, discrimination coupled with academic pressures has led to suicide as well.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/china-tiger-moms-education-academic-pressure-suicide

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