What is the difference between the education system of India and China?



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Shubham Goel, studied at School / Facebook

Indian Education

Indian culture is ruled by three things : peace, love and religion. As a country, India has never invaded a foreign land for 5000 years. It is deeply part of Indian culture that you should mind the others, and never be aggressive. It is actually the first thing that shoked me when I arrived there, how peaceful it made me feel.

Education is the same, families are very close, and parents are being extremely tolerant with their kids. They will still give the guidelines to a good education, they know what is good and what is bad and they teach it to their kids, but I have always seen parents finally backing down to the will of their kids. If the kid wants a new toy, they’ll buy it ; if the kid does not want to finish it’s food, well, that’s ok. If he likes to do this, does not like to do this, his desires will always be fulfilled. In western culture, this would create bad kids and eventually criminals, but in an Indian society so deeply filled with love and family values, it just works fine.




Chinese Education

The common point is that Chinese culture also has strong family values, the kids are under their parents rule pretty much from the time they were born to the moment their parent pass away. But the major difference is that Chinese parents are much more strict. Parents make the rules and kids obey. And it is the same in School, teachers have a much stronger authority that they would have in the West, it would be very unusual to contradict a teacher, and learning is mostly made out of repeating.

So what are the consequences, well, I think you saw it coming, Indians are more creative, and generally more open minded than Chinese. I have seen many lower / middle class Indian with amazing knowledge about my own country’s politics for example, whereas I have hardly ever seen that among Chinese. But Chinese are much more focused, they follow the rules, and I feel they have a stronger ability to focus on one particular task and master it perfectly.





Anshu, works at Studying

Chinese education system consists of six years of primary school, three of lower secondary and three of upper secondary. The state mandates every child to attend nine years of school - six years of primary and three of lower secondary. At age 15, they are "empowered" to choose their upper secondary program in either academic or vocational fields.Shanghai model adopts the mission of equipping children with the core skills of learning and curiosity and the ability to disseminate information.

In india there is lack in assessing existing data on learning outcomes.focused and step-by-step system of school education reform, it is indeed possible to aim at a bank of holistic schools in our indian cities. There is a lot need to get improved. Beggning from the syllabus & their area of interest.many students here are compelled to study the stream entirely opposite of their intrest.syllabus needs to be upgraded as indian syllabus is outdated one.




Vinayak Manoji, Civil Service Aspirant/GATE/IES friend, Motivator, IITDian,

At the time of independence in 1947 and liberation in 1949, India and China, respectively, faced the educational problem massive illiteracy. China and India are the two largest higher education systems in the world with a total enrollment of 2.91 crore and 2.67 crore students, respectively. In 1980, the economies of China and India were almost the same in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). India's GDP per capita was, in fact, slightly higher than that of its much larger eastern neighbour. Then, the Chinese economy grew at an average rate of 10 per cent between 1980 and 2010, leaving India far behind. In fact, Chinese manufacturing sector is presently eight times the size of India's. In 1982, the literacy rate in China was 64.4 per cent, compared to India's 37. The average years of schooling in China was far higher than that in India then. In every measure, China was far better than India.

Indian higher education system is highly concentrated at the undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree level. In fact, with 1.98 crore students, it is the largest system in the world in terms of undergraduate enrollment as compared to 1.27 crore in China and 1.04 crore in the U.S. As a proportion of the total student enrollment in higher education, India has nearly 75% of all its students pursuing a bachelor’s degree as compared to 43% for China and half for the U.S.



This concentration at the undergraduate level is quite unique to India not only due to three-year degree in Arts, Science and Commerce, which form more than 85% of all undergraduate enrollments. However, availability of too many bachelor’s degree holders for a smaller economy as compared to China or the U.S., has created a situation of credential inflation, which simply means, devaluation of a degree with time due to oversupply of graduates. This is evident from many unemployed and underemployed college graduates. It also reflects poor quality of education and skills imparted at many institutions. Despite smaller population and size of higher education system as compared to China, India has more than double the number of students at postgraduate level (27 lakhs vs. 12 lakhs).

At the vocational education level, India with young and ambitious population is missing the opportunity of engaging them as a part of the mainstream economic growth through manufacturing. This is where China leaped forward and engaged the masses through low-cost, volume-based manufacturing. However, China did not achieve this by chance; instead it expanded vocational education system to develop a skilled manpower base for manufacturing related activities. China enrolls nearly 96 Lakhs students in vocational education as compared to 40 Lakhs in India.




Abhishek Khanna, Architect

China raised the bar for entry to the teaching profession in the 1990s. All primary school teachers needed a diploma and all teachers in secondary schools had to be degree-holders with professional certification. China was the first forward-thinking district to mandate continuous professional training for its teachers. Every teacher is expected to complete 240 hours of professional development in five years.


As evidenced in China, through a well-thought out, focused and step-by-step system of school education reform, it is indeed possible to aim at a bank of holistic schools in our cities. But for that our schools and the systems which govern them may have to go through a crucible of experimentation and be brave about embracing innovation and partnership.



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