The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Feb 26, 2013
 

China turns to all-boys classes as girls progress

 
 

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Teenage boys in a Shanghai school are on the front line of teaching reform after the world's top-scoring education system introduced male-only classes over worries that they are lagging behind girls.

Rows of white-shirted boys are put through their paces as they are called up individually to complete a chemical formula by teacher Shen Huimin, who hopes that a switch to male-only classes will help them overcome their reticence.

"We give boys a chance to change," she said.

The Shanghai school system topped the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development's (OECD) worldwide assessment tests of 15-year-olds in 2009, the most recent available, ahead of Korea, Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore.