The current preferential policy for the zhongkao (China’s high school entrance examination) awards students with extra bonus for a variety of reasons, ranging from being an only child to having parents who hold 5 million RMB’s worth of investment.
Each province and special municipality follows a different set of rules for handing out these valuable bonus points. The reasons that different locales give out these boosts include leveling the playing field for the disadvantaged and providing incentive for students’ development. In one province, the policy also rewards students for their parents’ “contributions” — less to their child’s education and more to the province itself — which has caused considerable controversy, People’s Daily reports.
Below is a list of some of the particularly interesting preferential policies in China:
While the preferential policy for Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia, has generated the most backlash, parents can find something to complain about with each of these bonuses.
One parent named Zhu Liang is quoted as complaining that in the school that his son attends, an extra 3 points in a mock exam for mathematics was enough to bump a student up by over 200 spots. Imagine the difference of an extra 20 points on the municipal or provincial scale. Zhu also complained that while the total amount of points possible on the high school entrance exam in Kunming has fallen from 880 to 600, the preferential points have remained steady — giving athletes and Good Samaritans an even bigger advantage in his city.
While earlier this year, parents took to the streets to protest against university admissions policies which favor minority students, many provinces continue to give preference to minority students, much to the anger of the parents whose kids don’t receive any benefits.
It is not unusual for students to cheat in order to get some extra points. In the past, some Han students have posed as ethnic minorities, while some students who were “awarded” the national second-level athlete title (ranking just below Olympic-level) for ice skating can’t even stand up in skates.
In 2014, Quartz reported on parents buying athlete certificates for their kids or just giving them land in order to help them get into university. Maybe they should also go ahead and get started on cleaning up the streets.
By Victor Fung