Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

End money and privilege bonuses in exams

By Wu Yixue (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-16 07:32

However, according to martial arts experts, it is almost impossible to attain the necessary level to qualify for the certificate without three to five years of training. If that is the case, how is it so many students managed to gain a certificate without training for the required period of time? When asked by a reporter whether there were set standards the students must meet and who was responsible for checking the standards were met, an official from Henan's sports administration was at a loss to say.

The shame is not Henan's alone, the fairness of this year's bonus points in Liaoning province has also come under suspicion for similar reasons. In the face of the public's doubts and the educational authorities' vow to investigate, 270 of the 1,072 students who were awarded bonus points in the province have decided to renounce their eligibility for the bonus points. Some 53 students in Henan have done the same.

However, this should not be end of the public outcry over the bonus points system. By waiving their "right" to the extra points these applicants have proved the reasonability of public doubts over the fairness of system in the two provinces.

The national college entrance examinations are a life-defining moment for the students sitting them. The bonus points system should not be open to manipulation. Abuse of the system causes huge inequity and is unfair to other students. So its original purpose of extending preferential treatment to students with exceptional sporting ability should be upheld.

According to a statement posted on its website on Monday, the Ministry of Education is tightening up the bonus points system by reducing the number of slots available to such students and limiting the events that entitle them to the bonus points.

However, greater transparency is also needed and the authorities need to work out effective ways to plug the loopholes in the system. And, ultimately, a student evaluation system is needed that does not rely just on a student's performance in tests.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

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