Opinion / From the Readers

Abolish bonus points in gaokao

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-07 07:10

Comment on "Bonus-point system for gaokao trimmed back" (China Daily, July 2).

The preferential policy that awards bonus points to students taking the college entrance examination, gaokao, is unfair and should be abolished. It not only encourages students to pursue non-academic activities to get bonus points, but also puts additional pressure on them.

Many parents force their children to learn to play musical instruments, such as the piano or violin, from a very young age to get bonus points even if they have no interest in music. Children have to practice for long hours to build their credentials, necessary for getting bonus points in gaokao. By forcing their children to indulge in activities they are not interested in, parents deprive them of their childhood joys such as playing outdoors.

Moreover, parents, schools, teachers or educational officials could exploit the loopholes in the policy to get (or give) extra bonus points for some candidates to help get admitted to key colleges. For example, some recent media reports say that a middle school claiming to have 25 second-class swimmers who qualify for the bonus points doesn't even have a swimming pool on the campus. School officials have said that the students got their sports certificates from another institution but some people have challenged their claim.

Children need all-round development and sports and arts are important parts of their growing up process, but they should take up these activities as hobbies, instead of using it as a shortcut to college.

TAO NAN, via e-mail

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(China Daily 07/07/2014 page9)

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