A “special-ability” class is under police investigation as angry parents who paid more than 100,000 yuan (US$15,720) in tuition found their children were taught not to read without their eyes but how to cheat.
Whatever the Shanghai school’s pitch was, it should be written on a plaque and repeated as mantra by salesmen across the globe. Hi, I’m Professor X. I know you want to give me 100,000 yuan, so go ahead and just do it.
On a serious note, this program, called Minhang Xinyu Education Training Center, highlights Chinese parents’ sad desperation to equip their children with the best tools for obtaining good test scores, and it’s this cutthroat educational environment that has created a demand for magic bullets.
Serious note over. Shanghai Daily continues:
Dubbed as “Winning on Your Right Brain Training Class,” organizers boasted that the children could learn to read books with their eyes covered and tell the pattern and number of a poker card with only a gentle touch on the card’s back.
Talented children can learn even more such as “naturally seeing answers in their heads” when reading test papers, and learning the Chinese translation by only seeing a new English word, the organizer promised parents.
The program’s teachers hightailed it after the 10-day course and haven’t been found since. Those organizers, in addition to having silver tongues, also apparently have brass balls to string along students — some as old as 17 years – for two weeks. That’s a long freakin’ time to keep up a ruse about teaching psychic abilities.
And the kids?
Some children were “reading” the books by turning their pages beside their ears, and some were not even looking at the books, the newspaper said.
Their 40-year-old teacher Lei Yaru would then asked them, “How many of you have seen the book pages glowing with light? And how many see pictures when turning the pages? And how many learn the stories?” The students raised their hands and most said they had seen the glowing light.
“As I turn the pages fast, the contents of the book appeared just like cartoons,” said a 10-year-old boy, one of the “super power” students.
While some would be tempted to call this 10-year-old, ahem, special, allow me to offer this defense: that the kid, far from being dopey, is creative, belonging to a rare breed of human being who looks upon a river and sees a great mother snake carrying the egg of both heaven and earth, who glimpses a heather and thinks of death, and, yes, who can re-imagine the text of a book as a cartoon bursting with color and motion. That is a gift not to be belittled, and one worthy of nurturing, am I right?
Too bad he goes to school in China.
Hone those memorization skills, kid. Short of that, your imagination, I’m sure, can help you design a better superpowers course.