This year's gaokao an even tougher test than usual

(China Daily )| Updated : 2020-07-06

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Graduating students prepare for the national college entrance examination, or gaokao , at a high school in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, June 5, 2019. [Photo/sipa]

Since this year's annual national college entrance examination, or gaokao, will be held during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education, together with other relevant departments, has stressed the importance of adhering to the prescribed prevention and control measures during what is the largest public event since the pandemic began.

To ensure the safety and health of the 10.71 million students sitting the exam and those monitoring them and other staff, the ministry has set strict containment measures for the nearly 400,000 exam rooms in more than 7,000 exam sites across the country.

All students and staff have been monitoring their health situations by taking temperature every day over the 14 days before the exams begin, and they will have to have their temperatures checked and wear face masks before entering the exam sites.

Students in low-risk areas will be able to decide for themselves whether to wear masks, while those in medium-and high-risk areas and all monitors and staff are required to wear masks for the duration of the exams.

But because of the pandemic, this year's gaokao comes one month later than usual. And July is always hotter than June, so there might be a risk of the participants suffering breathing difficulties if they are wearing masks, so monitoring staff will need to be vigilant to any examinee showing signs of distress.

Special isolation rooms have been set up at each exam site, and students with respiratory problems will be evaluated by medical staff to decide if they can continue to take the exams. If they pass the evaluation they will continue to take their exams in the isolation rooms.

What makes this year's gaokao even more special is that three cases in which one person went to college under another person's gaokao scores and identity have been probed in Shandong province, with more under investigation. Which is why the ministry's requirement that all colleges strictly check the identities of new students has been welcomed. In the recently exposed cases, some college staff were found to have participated in the cheating that made the illegal activity possible. It is therefore right that college enrollment has come under scrutiny.

We wish all students well in this year's gaokao.