Schools try to cut stress for students before Gaokao
Principals and teachers in Chinese high schools have been trying to cut stress by putting on performances for their graduates ahead of the national college entrance examinations, known as the gaokao, which kicked off on Monday.
In East China’s Jiangsu Province, Zhang Hengzhu, principal at Nanjing No.13 High School, decided to dine and sing with students together before the exam. Social media shows that other teachers were dining, singing, and taking pictures with the senior students in the campus.
“The examinations are supposed to be part of our educational system and we don’t want our students to be stressed out because of that,” said Zhu. “That’s why we planned the activity.”
Two days before the examinations, teachers at Nanjing No.13 High School decided to send blessings to their students by making a video for the graduates.
A video of the principal and teachers at Yuhua Elite School in Jiaozuo, Central China’s Henan Province doing a funny dance performance also went viral on Chinese Twitter-like Sina Weibo. The principal, Jin Guanglei, told the local media that the school’s graduation party before the gaokao has been held for years.
“What we want to bring to our graduates is some joy and fun, and we want them to be relaxed and to cherish some good memories of this place,” Jin said.
The principal at a vocational school told the Global Times on Monday that they brought roast chicken drumsticks for their students to celebrate the end of their compulsory education.
“Our faculty team formed a queue to give high fives to every graduate to cheer them up,” the principal said.
As a province with over 99 million people as of 2020, Henan has over 1.25 million students entering this year’s national college entrance examinations, the highest number in the country, according to the local media.
On Saturday, the principal at Longze Elite School in Baoding, North China’s Hebei Province went into the countryside and harvested some wheat in order to bring it to his students. “I hope my students can harvest good results as I harvest the wheat,” the principal told the local Xi’an Business newspaper.
Netizens have sent their best wishes to the students on social media. Some of them shared their experiences of the day of the examination. “I felt nervous on the night before, and during my first exam,” read one post on Sina Weibo, “and then things became much easier afterwards.”
A college teacher surnamed Lu based in Zhengzhou also shared his experience of taking the examinations seven years ago in 2015. “I remember my teacher and I carried over 60 takeaways to our whole class as a surprise two days before the gaokao,” said Lu. “I remembered how we had our takeaways in class and some people cried while eating.”
According to China Central Television, there are more than 1.4 million test staff to help 10.78 million students during their exams, with more than 466,000 examination rooms across the country. This year sees the largest number of students taking the gaokao since the examination system was restored in 1977.