Chinese students do not read enough: study

Updated 2018-01-31 10:41:05

Picture taken on Dec. 5, 2017 shows students reading books in a library in Taiyuan, N China's Shanxi Province.

Chinese children are not spending enough time reading, which is related to their parents' reading habits, research shows.

A study by the China Children and Teenagers' Fund and TAL Education Group found that 47 percent of children under the age of 12 spend less than 30 minutes a day reading, and only 12 percent spend more than an hour.

The China Parent-Child Co-Reading Report 2017, which was released on Tuesday, also found that more than 35 percent of children whose parents read more than two hours a day formed the same habits, compared with only 1 percent whose parents read less than half an hour.

The findings are based on a month-long study of 8,466 parents of children under the age 12, who responded to questionnaires released via the websites, apps and WeChat accounts of education websites under the TAL Education Group. Respondents were spread across urban and rural areas in the 31 provinces and regions on the Chinese mainland.

The study said the time parents spend with their children drops dramatically when children reach 3 – with the percentage of parents spending over seven hours a day with their children dropping from 37 percent to 11 percent.

More than 40 percent of parents believe it is important to accompany their children while reading, but few have taken action to do so, it said.

In addition to improving children's language ability, Bian Yufang, director of Mental Health and Education Institute affiliated with Beijing Normal University, said reading helps with children's information acquisition and it is also a diversion.

"In terms of education on sex and death, reading could achieve better results than school education," she said.

Based on the research findings, Zhu Xisheng, secretary-general of China Children and Teenagers' Fund, said in the next five years the fund and TAL Education Group will work to build more platforms for parent-child co-reading.

"The platform will be based in communities and we also will organize activities to boost reading among parents and children," he said.

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