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Education and race


On the road


Ethnic-minority pupils are storming ahead, thanks partly to tutors


Nov 16th 2013 |From the print edition

IN APRIL Kumon, a Japanese firm, opened a tuition centre in Small Heath, a poor district of Birmingham. Its lessons are fairly cheap: about £55 ($88) a month for twice-weekly English and maths classes and homework. As in many of Kumon’s 680 British outfits, its clients are diverse. Many are south Asian; a few are eastern European; none is white and British.


In much ofEurope, pupils from many ethnic minorities linger at the bottom of the heap, says Chris Hamnett of King’s College London. That used to be true inBritaintoo—but not any more. Every ethnic-minority group that trails white Britons in GCSE exams, normally taken at 16, is catching up. Bangladeshis used to perform worse than whites; now they do better. Indians have maintained a huge lead. All this despite the fact that ethnic minorities are poorer than average. Control for that, by looking at pupils who are entitled to free school meals, and all ethnic-minority groups now do well.

伦敦国王学院的克丽丝 哈姆尼特说,在很多欧洲国家,少数名族学生一般在底层扎堆。过去在英国也是这样——但现在完全不同了。每一个在普通中等教育证书考试中输给英国白人的少数民族学生通常在他们16岁的时候就能赶上英国人。孟加拉裔过去曾不如白人;但现在他们更加优秀。印度人则一直保持着巨大的领先。所有这些都说明了少数民族学生并不比平均水平差。而且通过观察获得免费校园午餐的学生我们不难看出几乎所有的少数民族学生都表现出色。

But some fare better than others. One difference is imported social capital: Indians, who were middle-class when they arrived inBritain, have lots. Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, who often came from rural parts of their homelands, have less. Tenure inBritainmatters too. Newcomers have immigrant aspirations but suffer from not understanding the system. Better-established folk know how things work, but may have lost some of their ambition. A few are in a sweet spot in between.


Bangladeshis certainly seem to be. They arrived in large numbers from the 1970s and are now settled, largely inLondon. Plenty are still poor: half fall into the lowest income quintile. But the parents of many children now in school grew up speaking English and attended British schools. They not only understand the system but are shaping it. In 1987 the Collective of Bangladeshi School Governors was set up in theLondonborough of Tower Hamlets, where a fifth ofBritain’s Bangladeshis live. Shahanur Khan, its chairman, encourages parents to get involved in local schools. Parents are increasingly pushy: one mother recently complained to him that her children were not getting enough homework.

孟加拉人明显就是这种类型。他们于上世纪70年代大量来到伦敦,而且现在已经站稳了脚跟。他们中的大多数依然很穷:几乎半数人都是收入最低的群体。但是很多孩子的父母都开始学习说英语并且开始在英国学校求学。他们不但理解了整个体系并且在让自己适应这个体系。1987年孟加拉人学校管理者集团在伦敦哈姆雷特镇成立了,在英国五分之一的孟加拉人生活在那。它的主席莎哈雅 可汗鼓励父母们去加入当地的学校。父母们越来越有进取心:最近一个月来对他的抱怨就是她孩子的家庭作业不够多。

Somalis arrived much more recently: just 9% of Somali pupils were born inBritaincompared with 83% of Bangladeshis. And they struggle. Many parents came as asylum-seekers and speak little English. Just one in ten Somalis is in full-time work. But their children are faring better, along with other black Africans. In Lambeth, a borough ofLondon, 61% of Somali pupils got five good GCSEs last year, up from 11% in 2007. Schools employ Somali teaching assistants to help parents and children with their English. The council organises an awards ceremony for outstanding students. And, increasingly, parents pay for extra tuition.


That is another reason black and Asian children are doing better. Saturday schools have long been common, but parents are increasingly turning to private tutors. In a survey of 11- to 16-year-olds by the Sutton Trust, an education charity, 45% of Asian children said they received some kind of private tuition compared with 20% of white pupils. Another study suggests that Somalis are more likely to receive tuition than average, too. Supply has increased along with demand. Karamat Iqbal, director of Forward Partnership, an education consultancy in Birmingham, sees growing numbers of Pakistani graduates, who themselves attended British schools, working as tutors.

周末学校课程已经变得很常见,但是父母渐渐得更倾向于私人教师。那也是黑人和亚洲学生表现更出色的一个原因。一个教育爱心组织萨顿托管会关于11到16岁学生的调查显示,相比20%接受私人辅导的白人学生,45%的亚洲学生有私人教师。另外一个研究显示,相比平均水平索马里的学生更可能得到私人辅导。供给也随着需求的上升而上涨。伯明翰教育机构前程伙伴的主席卡马特 伊克巴尔表示随着越来越多的巴基斯坦人毕业,他们开始进入英国学校开始作为一个助教工作。

Black Caribbeans, a long-established group, are doing better but not dramatically so. They have mostly lost immigrant zeal: many doubt that education will make much difference to their chances in life, suggests Steve Strand, a professor of education atOxfordUniversity. And some teachers may be conflating bad behaviour (last year blackCaribbeanboys were over four times more likely to be excluded from school than Bangladeshi boys) with a lack of aptitude. Afro-Caribbeans are less likely to be entered into higher tiers for exams where they could obtain the best grades.

而很早就站稳脚跟的加勒比黑人最近也表现得更加出色了但却不是那么引人注目。牛津大学教授斯蒂文 斯特兰德表示:他们中的大多数已经失去了移民的热情,很多人怀疑教育是否会让他们的人生有更多地机会。而且一些老师可能将恶劣的行为与缺乏学习天赋混为一谈(去年加勒比黑人男孩是孟加拉男孩4倍的可能性被逐出学校。)加勒比黑人很难去参加那些能取得好成绩的考试。

Job prospects for ethnic minorities are not yet improving commensurately with their school results. Despite their success in exams, Mr Khan worries that Bangladeshi students are choosing “easy” A-levels, such as sociology and psychology, which limit their options. Pakistani pupils inBirminghamare doing better, says Mr Iqbal, but too many are still driving taxis and running corner shops or cheap restaurants.

为少数名族学生准备的工作却没有随着他们学校成绩的提高而增多。除开他们在考试中的成功不谈,可汗担心孟加拉学生去选择一些容易拿A的科目,例如社会学和心理学,这可能会限制他们将来的发展。伊克巴尔表示伯明翰的巴基斯坦学生则做的好一些,但是有太多人依然在开出租车 经营街角商店和低端餐馆。

Still, blacks and especially Asians are edging their way into the professions. Fully 2,087 British Pakistanis started studying law at university in 2011, up from 478 in 2000. Some of those long-held ambitions are now being realised.


重点单词   查看全部解释    
strand [strænd]


n. (线等的)股,缕,一个部分 vt. 弄断(如绳的)

ambition [æm'biʃən]


n. 雄心,野心,抱负,精力
vt. 有 ..

supply [sə'plai]


n. 补给,供给,供应,贮备
vt. 补给,供

survey [sə:'vei]


v. 调查,检查,测量,勘定,纵览,环视

fare [fɛə]


n. 路费,食物
vi. 过活,进展,进食

collective [kə'lektiv]


adj. 集体的,共同的
n. 集体



n. 预期;前景;潜在顾客;远景展望

employ [im'plɔi]



entitled [in'taitld]


adj. 有资格的,已被命名的 动词entitle的过去

obtain [əb'tein]


vt. 获得,得到
vi. 通用,流行,存在


关键字: 经济学人 教育 种族