Shandong’s gaokao scandal victim expects further probe after 15 people punished

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/3 15:54:20

Gou Jing. Photo: Screenshot of an online footage

The provincial disciplinary inspection and supervisory committee in East China's Shandong Province announced on Friday on the official website the investigation result of Gou Jing's case, where Gou claimed that her university place was stolen by another person in 1997. Fifteen personnel related to her case have subsequently been dealt with according to relevant laws and regulations. 

Gou responded to the investigation results on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo saying that she appreciated the efforts of the investigation team and education authorities of Shandong Province. She is still studying the investigation results and expects the authorities to investigate further into the 1998 case since she "still holds lots of doubts" about the case. 

The investigation conducted by the provincial disciplinary inspection and supervisory committee showed that her national college entrance examinations (or gaokao) score reached the required grade for a secondary school in 1997, but Gou did not apply for any further schooling and chose to study for one more year before sitting the gaokao in 1998. 

Gou's identity and gaokao scores were stolen by Qiu Xiaohui, who was accepted by a secondary school in Beijing in 1997 and by a teachers' training school in Jining, Shandong in 2001, using Gou's name. Qiu is the daughter of Gou's then class teacher.

Gou sat the gaokao exam in 1998 and her scores only reached a secondary school level again. She was recruited by a secondary vocational school in Central China's Hubei Province in accordance with normal admission procedures. Her claims of being replaced by another person for a second time did not exist, claimed Shandong authority. 

The provincial education authority on Friday replied to previous media reports which suggested that 242 students in Shangdong had their opportunities to attend university and college stolen by "imposter" students, dating back to before 2006, due to the province's limited identification technology at the time. 

Media reported that universities and colleges in Shandong Province had discovered 242 people suspected of pretending to be other students from 2002 to 2009, following an online post by Gou from a rural area in Jining, Shandong Province, in which she claimed that her university place was stolen by another person, pretending to be her 23 years ago, triggering widespread concern. 

Guan Yanping, an official from the provincial education authority, told the press on Friday that most of these cases happened before 2006, when the region's identification resources were limited, resulting in identity-confirmation methods being few and sometimes incorrect. It is through these cracks in the system that the imposters illegally obtained admission to universities and colleges throughout the province. 

"In recent years, the province has made full use of the identification technologies at hand, and strengthened the management of each procedure on university and college recruitment, with various measures to prevent imposter cases," Guan added. 

Guan stressed that the identification of university and college freshmen in the province will be reviewed carefully in the future, and the province will continue to ensure admission is only given after rigorous procedures have been undertaken. If people are suspected of stealing the identify or examination results of another individual, they will have their admissions cancelled and be dealt with in accordance with the laws. 

The education authority's reply received thousands of likes and comments on Sina Weibo as the national college entrance examination is often considered the most important opportunity for Chinese students to achieve their dreams and change their destinies, especially for those from disadvantaged families in rural areas, like Gou. 

One internet user commented that "although the imposters' formal schooling records can be revoked, those who had their education taken cannot have their lives back," with another adding that "other provinces should also start investigating other cases that happened throughout the country, not just in Shandong."

Global Times


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