People’s Daily recently published an article stating that the average height of Chinese males between 7 and 17 years of age is 2.54 cm (1 inch) shorter than males in Japan and Korea. It also reported that the physical condition of Chinese youths has worsened steadily over the past 25 years. Wu Zhenxian, deputy to the People’s Congress and a teacher from Beijing who holds the distinguished teacher’s title raised the concern. According to Wu, based on the results of a physical examination of students from Beijing High School in 2012, the physical condition of the youths in strength, speed, and endurance has declined while near-sightedness and obesity rates have increased. Results showed that only 10 percent of the students passed the test. In the meantime, schools are concerned about the potential liability caused by injury due to physical activities. Wu is calling for safety regulations to be established to protect both students and schools from liabilities due to such injuries. Wu also mentioned that Beijing is facing a severe shortage of teaching resources where elementary schools face a 47 percent shortage and the shortage in middle schools is at 68 percent. She is asking colleges to train more teachers and the Ministry of Education to loosen up restrictions on the quota for teachers from outside of Beijing to join the teaching workforce in Beijing.
Source: People’s Daily, March 7, 2014