Maonan Education

       The Maonan people have attached great importance to education. Because of the harsh geographical environment, Maonan children are told from an early age to work harder so as to improve their economic conditions. For families that have children at school, there has been a tradition of waking up the children when the rooster crows in early morning of the Chinese New Year. The children will, then, light the lamp and begin to read aloud. It has been noted that Maonan children work harder than their Zhuang counterparts. In the year 2000 the number of Maonan students in primary schools are the same as that of the Zhuang, but the number of Zhuang students is decreasing in senior high schools and universities compared with that of the Maonan, which means that the retention rate of Maonan students is much higher.

       There are around ten primary schools and one high school in Xianan Township. In Maonan schools, Mandarin Chinese is used as the medium of instruction despite the freedom of using their own language as stipulated by the Autonomous Law. All schoolage children are supposed to go to school. The number of students in colleges or universities has skyrocketed from 0.42 percent in 1982 to 2.27 percent in 2000, a 400 percent increase.

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