Twin suicides in China blamed on homework pressure

TWO teens in eastern China have committed suicide after "failing to complete homework assignments".

The deaths, which were reported in the state-run media highlight the immense pressure Chinese schoolchildren can face.

In a highly competitive education system that emphasises rote learning and passing exams, Chinese students spend on average 8.6 hours a day in class and can expect several more hours of assignments afterwards.

Some students spend as much as 12 hours in the classroom each day, a 2007 survey by China's Youth and Children Research Centre reported. They can typically expect several hours of homework on top of that.

A 15-year-old boy in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, who failed to finish homework from a three-day public holiday jumped to his death on Thursday morning, the China Daily said.

A 13-year-old boy in the same town got up at 4am on Thursday to complete holiday assignments but was found hanged on a staircase at his home two hours later, it said.

"In a suicide note, the boy said he loved his parents, felt sorry for them and hoped they could bring lilies, his favourite flower, to his grave," it said.



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