With nearly 10 million students across China taking a test this week that will play a huge role in deciding their future, tragedy has unsurprisingly struck again.
On the morning of June 7th, the first day of the gaokao, China’s dreaded nationwide college entrance exam, a young man from Chaoyang city, Liaoning province jumped off a building to his death.
The student was reported to have been aged either 21 or 22 years old, a “repeat student” that returned back to high school hoping to do better on the grueling gaokao.
Afterward, the young man’s parents blamed his suicide on the intense pressure that he was under on the eve of the exam, which is the sole criteria for determining college admissions in China.
The heartbreaking image of the student’s lifeless body went viral on Chinese social media yesterday with netizens lamenting how this kind of tragedy continues to happen year after year without fail.
“Parents, please stop putting so much pressure on kids taking the gaokao, this kind of news happens every year,” writes one netizen. “Whether you do well or you do poorly, your family is still waiting for you to come home and have dinner,” commented another web user.
Each spring, months of non-stop, high-pressure cramming sessions inevitably push some Chinese students past the breaking point. Back in 2013, a spike in the number of student suicides prompted calls for a change in China’s testing system. However, those calls led nowhere, forcing schools to have to deal with the issue themselves.
Like one Hebei secondary school that installed “anti-suicide” barriers on campus in the lead up to the exam in 2015 to prevent more stressed out students from leaping to their deaths.
[Images via NetEase]
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