The days approaching the gaokao, the ultra-competitive college entrance exam, are arguably some of the most stressful of a young person’s life in China, and students push themselves to the edge and beyond to secure a place in a good university.
The heavy pressure mounted on students ahead of gaokao season has led to a tragic trend of suicides among China’s youth. The pressure is especially intense at the Hengshui High School in Hebei, considered of the country’s best high schools. As recently as March 29, a student at Hengshui died after jumping from the top of the building, according to Tencent.
Recently, the school has taken extreme efforts to prevent suicide attempts by installing floor-to-ceiling iron railings on each story of the building. The enclosed hallways have since been likened to prison cells.
Students at Hengshan High School performed excellently on their gaokao exams last year, and 278 of them went on to be accepted at Tsinghua University and Beijing University, known as two of the most prestigious schools in China.
The school’s drive for success can be observed through its various mottos, including, “Rush out from the classroom, run to the canteen, and save time so you can study longer” and “attitude determines everything, scores prove your strength”.
By Tanto Chen
[Images via: qq]