As China’s Birth Rate Falls, College Students Given A Week Off To “Fall In Love”: Report
Political advisors to the government have made many recommendations to increase the birth rate, as population concerns in China have already reached a high point. Now, several colleges are also coming up with a unique plan to support the national concern.
Nine colleges in China are giving students a week off to “fall in love” in April.
According to NBC News, the Mianyang Flying Vocational College, one of nine colleges run by the Fan Mei Education Group, first announced the spring break on March 21, which has a specific focus on romance. The time off, which lasts from April 1 to April 7, encourages students to “learn to love nature, love life, and enjoy love through enjoying the spring break.”
“I hope that students can go to see the green water and green mountains and feel the breath of spring. This will not only broaden students’ horizons and cultivate their sentiments, but also enrich and deepen the teaching content in the classroom,” Liang Guohui, deputy dean of Mianyang Flying Vocational College, said in a statement.
Homework for students includes writing diaries, keeping track of personal development, and making travel videos.
This effort is an attempt to serve the purpose of finding ways to boost the birth rate.
The government has come up with more than 20 recommendations to boost birth rates, though experts say the best they can do is slow the population’s decline.
China dug itself into a demographic hole largely through its one-child policy imposed between 1980 and 2015. Authorities raised the limit to three in 2021, but even during stay-at-home COVID times, couples have been reluctant to have babies.
Young people cite high childcare and education costs, low incomes, a feeble social safety net, and gender inequalities as discouraging factors.
The proposals to boost the birth rate, made at the annual meeting of China’s People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) this month, range from subsidies for families raising their first child, rather than just the second and third, to expanding free public education and improving access to fertility treatments.
Experts took the sheer number of proposals as a positive sign that China was treating its ageing and declining demographics with urgency, after data showed the population shrinking for the first time in six decades last year.
(With inputs from Reuters)