Wel­come ban on brouhaha over exam scores, but more needed

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - THE ED­U­CA­TION DEPART­MENT OF NORTH CHINA’S HE­BEI PROV­INCE

sent a no­tice to its sub­sidiary branches and all the high schools in the prov­ince, ask­ing them not to pub­li­cize the gaokao (na­tional col­lege en­trance ex­ams) scores of their stu­dents, and not to post on­line the per­cent­age of their stu­dents en­rolled into col­leges. That’s a good move, com­ments Bei­jing News:

Giv­ing too much public­ity to the gaokao scores of the best stu­dents has been a long­stand­ing phe­nom­e­non be­cause of ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials’ dis­torted un­der­stand­ing of their job per­for­mance. They be­lieve the per­cent­age of local stu­dents en­rolled into col­leges is im­por­tant and tend to en­cour­age local high schools to push their stu­dents for high scores.

Be­sides, post­ing the gaokao scores of their ex­cel­lent stu­dents has led to local high schools try­ing to at­tract the best stu­dents by of­fer­ing in­cen­tives for en­roll­ment.

That’s why the no­tice of the He­bei Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment is wel­come. Too much public­ity about high-scor­ing stu­dents en­cour­ages a blind pur­suit of good exam scores, which is con­trary to the modern idea of a well-rounded ed­u­ca­tion.

How­ever, a ban on such public­ity is far from enough on

its own. More needs to be done to pro­mote par­ents’ aware­ness of the im­por­tance of well-rounded ed­u­ca­tion.

And if local ed­u­ca­tion bu­reaus con­tinue to make a brouhaha about the im­por­tance of scores, what pun­ish­ment will they get? As pre­vi­ously stated, some high schools at­tract stu­dents with in­cen­tives; how to curb this prac­tice?

In or­der to re­verse the blind gaokao wor­ship, stricter mea­sures need to be taken to reg­u­late high schools. But, more im­por­tant, re­form is needed. First, the na­tional col­lege en­trance ex­ams should be re­formed so that they don’t play such an im­por­tant a role in de­cid­ing which univer­sity a stu­dent goes to. Sec­ond, high schools need to de­velop in a di­ver­si­fied man­ner, so that they may com­pete with each other in var­i­ous ways in­stead of on just the per­for­mance of their stu­dents in the ex­ams.

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