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每日跟讀#724: About Education - Student debt a ’life sentence’ for millions of Americans


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#724: About Education - Student debt a ’life sentence’ for millions of Americans

Haley Walters is five years away from earning her law degree. If everything goes according to plan, she will be under a mountain of $100,000 in student debt by the time she enters the work force.


"Somebody who graduates from a public university this year is expected to have over $35,000 in student loan debt on average," said Cody Hounanian, program director of Student Debt Crisis, a California non-profit organization.


According to official statistics, 71 percent of US students are burdened by such debt, with minorities, black women in particular, the hardest hit.


Despite scholarships and financial aid available to many, the cost of higher education is such that the majority of students are unable to repay their loans on schedule. In the long term, the loan balance for such people increases, interest accrues, and the debt burden just keeps going upwards.


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Performance anxiety:Singapore schoolkids struggle with stress/成果焦慮:被壓力折磨的新加坡學童

Schoolchildren are paying a heavy price for Singapore’s success in global education rankings, with rising numbers seeking psychiatric help as they struggle to cope with the relentless pressure.


According to a report, the students there have higher levels of anxiety about schoolwork than other nations. "Children are being forced to mature too fast because the society does not allow the luxury of taking it slow," said a psychologist.


Under such heavy pressure, private, after-school tuition has become the norm. Singaporean students rank third globally on time spent on homework, at 9.4 hours a week, according to an OECD survey.


Authorities hope to ease the pressure of students by measures including axing some exams in both primary and secondary school, and only grouping students according to ability in more academic subjects such as math and science - rather than separating them into streams for all subjects.


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