While Irish students sit their exams, so too the millions of Chinese students. It's so shocking to see the amount of stress these kids go through, just to please their parents and get into college with limited places. The lengths the students and parents go through...
A newspaper in Tianjin, a city in northern China, reported local girls have been buying contraceptive pills to delay their periods.
All I know in HK, they take their chicken stock, or their gingki supplements. They have cram schools as well as personal tutors outside of school. It's starting to get like that here with all the exam-prep schools, but not as crazy as what the kids and their parents go and do in the Far East.
And I whole-heartedly agree that there are other routes aside from going from secondary to college, and to Chinese parents, it has to be a university. In Ireland, apart from Unis, we have FÁS, adult education schools, IT colleges, and other professional training courses. As I have tried to tell my brothers and cousins, you don't have to make the big leap to Uni straight off the bat, there are many ways to get there. And even if you don't choose 3rd level, there are many paths to choose from to do what you want to do. And it's your choice. But sometimes that is easier said then done with parents on your back all the time.