Worried that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys, Chinese educators are working to reinforce traditional gender roles and values in the classroom.The government is trying to recruit more male teachers to lead these masculinity programs.
In Zhengzhou, a city on the Yellow River, schools have asked boys to sign petitions pledging to act like “real men.” In Shanghai, principals are trying boys-only classes with courses like martial arts, computer repair and physics. In Hangzhou, in eastern China, educators have started a summer camp called “West Point Boys,” complete with taekwondo classes and the motto, “We bring out the men in boys.”
Partly this is just the macho culture of the Chinese leadership, which is almost entirely male. But partly it is driven by fear of a generation of lazy, video-gamed obsessed boys, and in yet another part it is a response to the discovery that Chinese boys are lagging behind girls academically, as in most of the world.