China Colleges Give Students 7-Day Break ‘To Fall In Love’ As Birth Rate Plummets


China: In a bid to save its falling birth rate, nine colleges in China have come up with a unique plan and are giving their students a week “to fall in love”, reports say.

According to a report by NBC News, one of the nine colleges, Mianyang Flying Vocational College, first announced its Spring Break on March 21 which has a specific focus on romance. From April 1 to April 7 students are encouraged 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, as per NBC News.

Students are also given homework, like writing diaries, recording personal growth, and filming videos of their travels.

While this is an effort to boost their declining birth rate, experts say the best they can do is slow the population’s decline. The Chinese government has asked to come up with more than 20 recommendations to boost birth rates.

Due to the one-child policy which was imposed between 1980 and 2015, China dug itself a big demographic hole.

China’s birth rate last year fell to 6.77 births per 1,000 people, from 7.52 births in 2021, the lowest on record.

In 2021, China raised the limit to three, but even during stay-at-home COVID time, couples were reluctant to have babies. The requirement for women to be legally married to register their children has also been removed.

Young people cite high childcare and education costs, low incomes, a feeble social safety net, and gender inequalities as discouraging factors.

China’s People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) even came up with ideas such as maternity leave paid by the government rather than the employer would help reduce discrimination against women while increasing paternity leave removes a barrier for fathers in taking more parenting responsibilities, Reuters reported.

This month CPPCC also made other recommendations that 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.

The number of recommendations was a positive sign as data showed the population shrinking for the first time in six decades last year.

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