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Enrollment exam plan under fire

TEACHERS and students in Shanghai are unhappy with a reform proposal meant to spare some high school students from the pressures of the annual national college enrollment examination.

The proposal, drafted by the Beijing-based non-government-backed 21st Century Education Research Institute, was submitted to the Ministry of Education yesterday, today's Shanghai Evening News reported.

The proposal suggests a more diversified college enrollment examination system.

China's college enrollment examinations system is blamed for placing a lot of pressure on students. It is currently the only method of enrollment. Not all students can get enrolled because of the country's limited education resources. Critics say extreme competition in the examination has turned students into bookworms with incidents of cheating also uncovered almost every year.
Principal Yang Minghua of the Shanghai Datong High School is concerned that the proposal, a copy of the examination system in Western countries, may not benefit China's students.

"It should take domestic conditions into account more," he said.

Principal Lu Panliang with Shanghai's Fuxing High School echoed Yang's point, saying it is not yet the time for examination reform.

Students are worried that the variety of examination levels in the proposal could complicate the situation.

Graduate Lu Ji from Fuxing High School said students may have to take even more tests to ensure enrollment.

Another student surnamed Zhu with Shanghai's Xiangming High School described the proposal as patches on an old shirt. "The patches cover the ugly parts of the shirt but make the shirt heavier," he said.


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