PE inclusion in college admission exam faces online opposition Published: 2020/5/25 2:58:19


Senior students have PE class in a high school in Guizhou Province on March 18, 2020. Photo:

Political advisors submitted a joint proposal asking to include physical education (PE) into China's college entrance examinations to reduce student burdens. However, young netizens voiced their opposition and said the act would only create more strain. 

Wu Zhiming, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the suggestion along with more than 100 members in a proposal aimed at promoting health education among middle and high school students, and to relieve daily school pressure, the Beijing News reported on Saturday.

Physical ability assessment is a topic on the high school entrance exam at many schools in China, but is not included in the college entrance exam. 

Wu suggested that schools give physical education the same priority as Chinese and mathematics in the grading system to stimulate motivation, which would solve emerging health problems caused by a lack of exercise, such as obesity and myopia. 

According to data from the National Health Commission, the overall myopia rate among children and adolescents was 54 percent in 2018, and the obesity rate among students had exceeded 10 percent. 

Wu believed that including PE in the school's final exam would inspire students to spend extra time exercising and change the imbalance between students' physical training and mental training at schools.

"China's traditional talent cultivating idea emphasizes more on mental education than physical education, and therefore now schools are squeezing the PE class time to save for those major classes, or even ignoring the compulsive 'one-hour exercise time' required by the Ministry of Education," Wu noted in the proposal. 

However, the proposal encountered opposition on social media with most netizens arguing the act will create more burdens to the students. 

"Including PE in the exams will not reduce the time students devoted to those major subjects but will instead take up the rest time which is already pretty short for them," said one netizen on Weibo, who received more than 500 likes.

"From my experience in middle school, teachers would take up the PE classes for major subject classes at first, and later when the PE exams approach, they would have students prepare for the exam programs through over-practicing. I remember how we practiced running like crazy during the noon break every day for the exam. I was tired and not in a bit enjoying the practices," said one Weibo user. 

Despite the voices against the proposals, some netizens recognized their intentions. 

"It is good to see such attempts to relieve students' pressures. We just need more specific supporting regulations and efforts from other parties, including schools and parents, to ensure the proposal's initiatives are met," read another comment. 

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