The importance of housework courses
  ·  2022-05-16  ·   Source: NO.20 MAY 19, 2022

Many Chinese primary and middle-school students are not competent in housework today and do not take such work seriously, due to long-term negligence of housework education by both schools and families. Consequently, some arrive at college unable to cook or wash their own clothes.

The Ministry of Education has recently released the new curriculum standard for housework education in compulsory education (Grade 1-9), making housework education an independent course that students must take at least once a week, beginning from the upcoming autumn semester. The new standard requires primary students in Grade 1-2 to learn to sweep the floor, Grade 3-4 to learn to plant cabbages, and Grade 5-6 to master the skills of cooking two to three dishes. Students in junior middle schools will learn to repair simple electrical appliances.

This new standard has been widely welcomed by the public as the first step in inspiring young students to develop a healthy concept of labor and to be capable of taking care of themselves in daily life.

Wang Hongfeng ( Although, in theory, importance has always been placed on housework education, in reality, it has long been sidelined. At home, some students are unable to do the simplest household chores, as their parents insist they devote themselves to study. Some of them gradually grow to resent doing housework and other kinds of domestic labor: They dream of becoming an Internet influencer when they grow up and making easy money for the rest of their lives.

Housework education in the new era is supposed to trigger students' interest in labor, help them experience different kinds of housework and, most importantly, correct their attitudes toward labor. The housework course will become a critical step in the forging of a personality of integrity among students.

Tianhuosanhu ( In order for students to develop in a well-rounded way, it's absolutely necessary to add the housework course to school curriculums.

This new standard was established in response to widely held contempt for housework that has existed within family education (education provided to children by their families). The new standard aims to encourage students in primary and secondary schools to progressively learn and love housework. This is the kind of image the newest generation should present themselves to be.

Housework courses are necessary and worthwhile, and the key now is making the class interesting, so that the students will really retain some practical skills, instead of just going through the motions. For this reason, schools must recruit professional teachers to give the classes, rather than adding this new burden on teachers and parents who are already busy with their daily work.

Zhang Linyu ( Some people argue that, nowadays, labor division is becoming more and more entrenched, so it's unnecessary to waste time on learning housework. If you want to have a meal, you can order food online and cleaning work can be outsourced, not to mention electrical appliances repairs, for which there are specialized services. Nevertheless, not everyone can afford to outsource their housework, and people should be capable of doing housework whether they intend to do it or not. People equipped with the basic skills for daily life can go much more confidently and smoothly through everyday life than those who are not. For example, when sudden lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic prevent restaurant deliveries, the ability to cook stands out as extremely important.

Some parents are worried that the labor courses will place new pressures on their children, however, some others worry that this is just another class that will be regularly taken over or "stolen" for use by teachers of major disciplines. Additionally, when learning to cook, students will have to use cutting tools and cooking utensils, which poses risks to young children. These are not groundless worries, so schools must make careful and reasonable arrangements for the classes.

Copyedited by G.P. Wilson 

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