I just so happen to flick to BBC Four tonight and caught a documentary on Chinese School. It follows the days of several pupils from primary to secondary school, showing the different pressures Chinese school kids have, and this was produced in 2007. So it's quite recent.
I noticed that the children are so straight to the point, for example, in the primary school shown, kids are made aware of how to treat your own possessions properly, the example of using class monitors to go around checking the item of the teacher want to make an point of, a pencil eraser. One boy was pointed out and voted to have the worst eraser and was shown as an example of a story of a tattered jumper that it's important to respect one's own things like respecting people. The humiliated pupil went around apolagising to the rest of the class and hooked the little finger hook with each of the students (like a shake on that gesture), and the class forgave him in unison. Although he was crying from being pointed out that he should look after his personal items properly, being a kid, it was forgotten very soon afterwards in their outdoor activities.
The pressures of secondary school kids looked pretty intensive, they even have medical checks on final year students, yes, a full medical! It's to make sure they can hack it through the tough study and exams and ensuring clean bill of health means you can get into university level). That just hits home as I watch all these kids, with books piled high, and how there study hour is reciting outloud in the same room, that will drive me absolutely bonkers, but that's how they study. And they get up at 5:45am, do morning exercises before brekkie at 7am. I noted that most of these students are staying in dorms or boarding schools. Even young kids at 6/7 years in that primary school learn to take care of themselves, no dishwashers, washing machines and parents to pick up things for them there. >-<
I have said this in many a posts already, we have it so easy over here!