China will eliminate five preferential items from itseducation policy that add bonus points to astudent's national college entrance exam, or gaokao, as part of an effort to have a more fair and scientificselection process, the Ministry of Education said lastWednesday.
The ministry will stop giving bonus points tostudents who have exceptional sports ability, whohave won academic Olympiads or science and technology competitions, who are named"provincial-level excellent students", or those who have performed "righteous andcourageous deeds", according to a statement posted on its website.
The statement does not mention ethnic groups, the children of national martyrs or returnedoverseas Chinese, meaning they may still be eligible for bonus points on the gaokao.
Currently, students with top performance in athletics or science can be awarded up to 20 points on the gaokao, although some provinces have already canceled such items under anotice issued by the ministry four years ago.
In 2014, the ministry released a joint notice with several other ministries requiring allprovinces and regions to review and reduce the number of items used to provide extra points tostudents with science or sports talents.
Speaking of the latest directive, Xiong Bingqi, vice-president of the 21st Century EducationResearch Institute, said: "The statement is meant to ensure the equity of college admissionsby reducing the possibility of fraud and abuse. It can reduce corruption related to thepreferential policy and reverse the trend of more Chinese students studying for Olympiadsfrom an early age just to get the extra points."
However, it does not mean children with special talents will be undervalued. They can stillchoose the independent college admission route, which is provided by some universities, headded.
Currently, 90 universities have allocated 5 percent of their enrollment slots to independentadmissions designed for students with special talents. They admit more than 20,000 studentsevery year.