Thursday, April 13, 2006

Little Entrepreneurs of China

We have heard of Little Emperors before. These refer to the children of parents who live in China. These children are typically pampered because, for many couples, that's the only child that the State will ever allow them to have.

Now, we hear that children as young as 5 years old in China are taking MBA (or Early MBA as they are called) type classes to master business at a very very young age. Modules on economics and business sense are covered in these courses. And the place most prevalent with these classes? Unsurprising, it is Shanghai.

My worry is that parents are placing the cart before the horse. Not in terms of skills, for we know how gifted some children are, but in terms of ethics and values. If so much of a child's time is spent 'educating' them on the technical aspects of life that they neglect values and society, morality and ethics, etc., we might end up seeing very wealthy, perhaps 'successful' individuals, but individuals who may not understand how to do the right thing the right way. Worst still, we might end up seeing more psyschiatric cases given the early onset of stress so typical in the business world of dog-eat-dog. Ultimately, society is going to suffer. Worst, if children are not taught how to value and respect their elders, etc., the parents who so eagerly send their children to such classes may end up reaping the effects of their neglect in critical aspects of a child's upbringing.

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