Traditional education treats Internet addiction


Wuhan Morning Post
December 10, 2008

Starting on Monday, Wuhan Morning Post has been running a series of reports on An Deyi, a guoxue master who runs a home school to cure youngsters of Internet addiction. His course in traditional learning, which costs 30,000 yuan a year, has reportedly worked miracles in bringing young Internet junkies back to normal.

Today’s issue provides more examples that An turns rebellious brats into filial sons and daughters. The newspaper also announces that to help families facing similar problems, An will hold a public lecture on December 21 in Wuhan’s Youth Palace.

Here is the partial translation of a story that appeared in the December 8 issue:

When she was a high-school sophomore, Yan Huan started cutting school. She spent every weekend at an Internet cafe. When her father found out, he locked her up for a month.

Yan Huan managed to escape. When her father found her and took her back, he suffered a heart attack as she stood watching indifferently. This saddened him.

“She didn’t go to college, but went to a vocational school. She was hooked on the Internet. Glued to the computer till three or four o’clock in the morning, and then she’d oversleep,” said Yan’s mother.

In an attempt to bar his daughter from using the Internet, Yan’s father set a password for the family’s computer, but the daughter managed to find a way to bypass it.

The Internet is far from the only thing that Yan and her parents disagree over: “She had a boy friend in high school, a street hooligan. The whole family was against it, but she just wouldn’t listen.”

When asked why she was addicted to the Internet, Yan Huan said that her life was too empty.


Wuhan Morning Post
December 8, 2008

Yan used to be a good student, but she didn’t get along with her parents and resented the way they treated her. She said that her father would stand behind her when she was doing home work, looking over her shoulder to make sure she was reading the right book. Her mother liked to search through her personal things.

Yan’s father couldn’t stand the low-rise pants his daughter wore, and even cut up a pair when she was away. He used to call Yan “shameless” when she got up late, while for her part, Yan said that she would treat her father as if he were a crazy person who liked shouting.

Yan said that after her parents saw a TV program showing a girl who was kidnapped at a roller rink and forced to become a prostitute, they no longer allowed her to go to such places any more. “There is no trust between us. Only confrontation and repression. But whatever they don’t allow me to do, I will only try even harder to do it. I felt no affection from them, so I tried to find it from my boyfriend.”

To find a way out the situation, Yan’s parents decided to send her to An’s home school to study guoxue, or traditional Chinese learning, for two years.

An’s method is to simply have Yan recite the ancient Chinese classics for a few hours every day, in combination with a healthy diet and physical exercise. According to An, “to cure Internet addiction, the simplest method is reading ancient masters’ classic works….Yan will be able to recite 100,000 characters within a year if she carries on at this pace.”

About two months into the treatment, Yan’s addiction to the Internet has totally vanished and she has taken a healthy liking to reading Chinese classics.

Even her father, who was once so disappointed with her, believes that his rude, rebellious daughter has changed. Yan said she owes everything to An, whom she calls “Guoxue Super-Dad.”

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