China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

The craze to iden­tify stu­dents who have se­cured top scores in the col­lege en­trance exam ( gaokao) and en­roll them in top uni­ver­si­ties is ev­i­dent once again with the pub­li­ca­tion of this year’s gaokao re­sults.

But many ex­perts have given a call to stop this craze be­cause it has a neg­a­tive im­pact on not only other stu­dents, but also the en­tire so­ci­ety. Some provin­cial ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments, such as those in Hainan andHei­longjiang, have even adopted mea­sures to for­bid the re­lease of the list of gaokao “cham­pi­ons” in their prov­inces.

Provin­cial and re­gional ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments have been pay­ing ex­ces­sive at­ten­tion to gaokao cham­pi­ons and show­er­ing them with hon­ors and re­sources in vi­o­la­tion of so­cial val­ues and cus­toms. And, con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, there are cer­tain ob­jec­tives be­hind that— lo­cal au­thor­i­ties see it as an op­por­tu­nity to win praise for their ef­forts on the ed­u­ca­tion front.

The top scor­ers in the fierce com­pe­ti­tion of gaokao nat­u­rally be­come the toast of the prov­inces and re­gions they come from, and thus get the priv­i­lege of choos­ing the best uni­ver­si­ties for higher stud­ies and are per­haps en­sured of the bright­est pos­si­ble fu­ture in aca­demics.

The truth, how­ever, is that the gaokao cham­pi­ons do not nec­es­sar­ily be­come so­cial elites and may en­counter many ups and downs in their fu­ture life.

Per­haps people who ac­tively pro­mote the top scor­ers also re­al­ize this. The craze for gaokao cham­pi­ons mir­rors the im­por­tance people at­tach to the col­lege en­trance exam, and not their quest for real tal­ents who would ben­e­fit so­ci­ety. This is be­cause mil­lions of fam­i­lies con­sider the gaokao as the most im­por­tance step in a youth’s life which could make or break his/her fu­ture.

For­tu­nately, there are signs that this craze is on the wane, be­cause me­dia re­ports are now fo­cus­ing more on such stu­dents’ learn­ing meth­ods and the hon­ors be­stowed on them are be­com­ing more ac­cept­able.

As the ed­u­ca­tion re­forms deepen, it is likely that this craze will ul­ti­mately die out and people will adopt a more ra­tio­nal ap­proach to eval­u­ate the most suc­cess­ful can­di­dates in the gaokao.

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