Despite new rules to try to stifle the practice, many parents in China are continuing to push their pre-school age children into private courses to try to prepare them for elementary school.
Most of the students in this training class in Beijing are between five and six years old and have been studying for more than six months. According to their schedule, they must take at least four hours of class each day.
One student says he and his classmates have various classes such as abacus, Chinese language, mathematics and sensory integration. But he cannot remember the exact number of classes he attends, as there are so many.
"Every morning, we are required to recite three poems, so we have to review many times the evening before. It's very tiring."
Such training schools for preschool-age students are very popular nowadays. Most of them are fully occupied. Parents say the reason they enroll their children in the classes is because they want to better prepare them for elementary school. One parent explains.
"According to the current teaching scheme of elementary schools, they only provide a month's worth of classes for students to learn pinyin. However, when we learned pinyin in primary school, I remember the teacher used the whole term to teach us. So it's really very hard for children nowadays to get familiar with pinyin in only one month."
Some parents say some elementary school classes require students to complete 60 mathematical calculation questions within five minutes. Without this training, they say it will be very difficult for students who have not taken such courses outside kindergarten when they enter elementary school.
Apart from this, there is another reason that parents are sending their preschool-age children to training schools. Lian Huangcen, a preschool education expert, explains.
"For children who want to be enrolled in better primary schools, the only way is to go through certain interviews and take an entrance exam. Therefore, children without a broad range of knowledge will not make it into their expected primary school."
But Professor Liu Yan at Beijing Normal University, says putting such pressure on young children will negatively impact their development.
"International research has already shown that children retain the competitiveness that such intensive training imparts only until grade two of primary school. However, grade three is the time when most students hit the starting line."
Experts suggest that parents pay more attention to cultivating children's interest in learning and their study habits rather than only focusing on their possible loss at the starting line.