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June 24, 2020

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Guidelines ensure safe examinations

With Shanghai students taking college entrance exams early next month, the city has come up with a number of measures to minimize the risk of novel coronavirus infection.

For one thing, students who take part in the exams slated for July 7-9 must not leave Shanghai from June 23, local education and examination authorities said in a recent notice.

For another, students must arrive at the designated venues for exams 45 minutes ahead of time for relevant checks and instructions.

These are but two of a set of meticulous measures the city has mapped out to make the July exams safe and sound. They reflect the city’s character of trying to do well in doing good — a character known for its acute attention to details.

One cannot be too cautious in ensuring the safety of an indoor exam venue. It is better that all the participants are healthy. A two-week safe period is reasonable to avoid exposure to potential health risks. It’s a fortnight between June 23 and July 7.

That students sitting the exams shall not leave the city for a while may sound like a “one-size-fits-all” tactic at first. On second thoughts, it’s better than the second-best. It’s actually the best choice in light of opportunity cost analysis.

A student may have “sacrificed” two weeks of “free travel” outside the city, but it’s a “sacrifice” worth being made for the ultimate benefit of society as well as for oneself.

Follow the science of health, heed your conscience for the common good, and you will mostly do right, even though it means extra effort on your part.

In the same vein, local education and examination authorities will allow students to take off their masks after they enter test venues and sit down at designated seats. Students should also take off their masks when going through identity checks. Otherwise, wearing a mask is a must.

If there’s something we can learn from the schools, it’s that we all can do well if — and only if — we really mean it.


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