xi's moments
Home | National Affairs

Ministry to reduce examinations for students in elementary and middle schools

By ZOU SHUO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-08-31 09:32

Students in first and second grade should have no written exams while students in other grades at primary schools should only have one final exam every semester, the Ministry of Education said on Monday.

In a notice aimed at reducing the excessive academic workload of primary and middle school students, the ministry said middle schools will be allowed to organize one test in the middle of the semester and one at the end.

Some schools have organized too many tests that are too difficult. As a result, students have to frequently study hard, leading to an exam-oriented education and a heavy academic burden, the ministry said, adding that the practice has harmed students' psychological and physical health and must be rectified.

Local education authorities should not organize regional or interscholastic exams, and schools and classes should not organize weekly or monthly tests, the notice said.

In addition, schools should strictly regulate the content of their final exams and make sure the difficulty does not exceed the national syllabus. The exam questions should focus on basic knowledge and skills, while the number of questions focusing on rote learning should be reduced, the notice said.

Moreover, the exam results should be divided into four or five grades, without giving specific scores, the notice added. Parents and students should be notified of the results in appropriate ways, and the results should not be ranked or published. The schools should not use test scores to label students or to determine which class to assign them to or where they should sit in class.

The new notice came as the country has taken a wide range of measures to alleviate pressure on students and parents and ensure the fair nature of compulsory education.

A previous notice issued by the ministry banned written homework for first and second graders and homework exceeding one hour for students in other primary school grades and 90 minutes for middle school students.

A guideline issued by the central authorities late last month asked tutoring companies to register as nonprofit organizations and banned them from offering curriculum-based training to students in primary and middle schools during weekends, holidays and winter and summer vacations.

Hu Yanpin, an official with the ministry's office of national education inspection, said reducing students' homework and after-school tutoring burden is one of the top priorities of education inspections this year.

The whistle-blowing channels set up by the office have received more than 8,000 reports from the public concerning misconduct by tutoring companies and schools, and the office will organize special inspection teams to verify the reports, Hu said.

A slew of measures will be taken to correct misconduct and punish those who breach the guidelines, including having talks with local governments and holding local governments with slow progress accountable.

The office is determined to effectively reduce students' homework and tutoring burden and parents' financial burden in one year and achieve significant outcomes in three years, Hu said.

Based on more than 45,000 questionnaires sent to teachers, parents and students in 30 provincial-level regions in June, the sleep hours of 67 percent of primary and middle school students did not meet the national requirements-nine hours per night for primary school students and eight for middle school students, Hu said.

Twenty-two percent of first and second graders said they still had written homework and 17 percent of primary and middle school students said they had too much homework, he said.

He added that while parents agree with the intentions of reducing children's academic workload, they often assign extra homework to their children, fearing that they might fall behind their peers.

Lyu Yugang, director of the ministry's department of basic education, said that as the after-school tutoring offered by private companies is expected to be reduced, schools should improve the quality of education, after-school service and homework.

More reforms should be carried out in school education to make sure teachers teach everything in the national syllabus and students can learn enough during school hours to alleviate parents' anxieties about their children's education, he said.

Schools will not be allowed to teach new subjects during after-school services and education authorities will hold violators accountable, he added.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349