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.