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P.E. becomes major subject in Yunnan middle schools

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-01-01 19:19

KUNMING -- The newly-released reform on high school entrance exams in Southwest China's Yunnan province has caused heated discussion after the total score allocated to physical education was raised from 50 points to 100 points, equal to the so-called "three major subjects" of Chinese, Mathmatics and English.

The reform will be implemented from the fall semester of 2020. Students will take P.E. tests once a year during their three-year middle school education, and the proportion of each year's test has been tentatively set to 20%, 40% and 40%.

The exams include two parts: a physical examination and skill test. The former, accounting for 60 points, will be conducted according to the national standards of student's physical health while the latter, accounting for 40 points, will be a test of sports skills.

"The Ministry of Education requires students to master at least one or two sports skills. Students can choose from various sports for the skill test, including soccer, basketball and volleyball, table tennis, badminton, tennis, track and field, swimming, martial arts, boxing, and aerobics," said Xu Zhongxiang, an official with the Yunnan Provincial Department of Education.

Detailed rules, plans and related documents are still under discussion and will be released as soon as possible.

Zhang Chunhua, deputy director of Yunnan Provincial Department of Education, explained the purpose of the reform as boosting students' well-rounded development and alleviating their study pressure.

"Middle school is a critical period for the development of students' physical and mental health. Regular exercise is needed to promote students' health," said Xu.

"We hope that after several years of hard work, physical education can truly become a major subject," said Wang Dengfeng, a senior official with the Ministry of Education.

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