System needs reforms

Updated: 2013-02-06 07:41

(China Daily)

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Comment on "Moves to change gaokao rules spark heated debate" (China Daily, Jan 24)

As a 12th-grade student in Chongqing, I know how difficult it is for students in populous regions to get admission to good universities.

The enrollment quota for students in different regions varies greatly. Universities in Chongqing municipality admit only about 100 students with local residency per year, far fewer than Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing. Thus students in Chongqing have to get higher scores to get admission to a good university.

Furthermore, the uneven distribution of education resources has intensified this discrepancy. The vicious circle fuels disputes and makes gaokao (national college entrance exam) reform all the important.

I intend to apply to universities in Hong Kong, which have better selection criteria than mainland universities. Applicants have a fairer chance of getting admitted to a Hong Kong university, because they take the provincial standards into account and invite applicants with the best scores from every province for interviews. By considering both aspects, the Hong Kong universities select several top applicants regardless of their birthplace. An applicant's personal quality matters more than where he/she is from.

What the gaokao system could learn from the Hong Kong education system is to offer fair and equal opportunity to every candidate. But for that, the mainland's gaokao system has to undergo reforms.

P.P. Patrick, via e-mail

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(China Daily 02/06/2013 page9)