Record number of students to sit for college entrance exam
Students at a senior high school in Guanyun county, Jiangsu province, study on Tuesday evening to prepare for the gaokao, or national college entrance exam. WU CHENGUANG/FOR CHINA DAILY
A record 10.78 million students around China are expected to take this year's all-important national college entrance exam - the gaokao - from Monday to Tuesday, the Ministry of Education said on Wednesday.
It's a slight increase from 10.71 million last year, when the exam was postponed for a month to July 7 and 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been moved back to the usual time slot this year.
The gaokao is a pivotal moment for high school students because their scores will largely determine whether they can attend university, which institutions will accept them and consequently what careers await them.
Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan has urged authorities to adopt the highest standards in organizing the important exam and to ensure it proceeds smoothly.
Sun, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visited a middle school and an examination authority in Beijing on Tuesday during an inspection tour of gaokao preparations, Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.
She told authorities to implement the strictest epidemic prevention measures to ensure the safety of all test takers and monitors and prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 patients and their close contacts will be allowed to sit exams in medical facilities or isolation venues if conditions permit, Sun said.
She also required authorities to make contingency plans and conduct drills for emergencies including extreme weather or flooding, adding that convenient services should be provided for exam participants with disabilities or other difficulties.
The gaokao is vital in ensuring education and social fairness and authorities should further crack down on cheating and identity fraud in the exam, Sun added.
The Ministry of Education said it has worked with local authorities to ensure the security of test papers and answer sheets throughout the exam.
Local authorities have adopted various detection methods to prevent any equipment for cheating from being smuggled into test centers and will conduct vigorous identity checks to screen out impostors, the ministry said.
Local authorities should coordinate on food safety, smooth traffic flows and heatstroke prevention to better serve test takers, the ministry said.
The ministry has also worked with the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Ministry of Public Security to root out illegal and fake social media accounts that have spread false information about the gaokao, it said. Local authorities have closed more than 360 social media accounts that were posing as official ones, it added.