Gaokao provides Chinese society with high hopes: Global Times editorial

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/6 22:18:40

A teacher at a high school in Guangzhou on July 6 helps students wear wristbands which mean "good luck" ahead of gaokao. Photo: CNS

The 2020 edition of the national college entrance examinations, or gaokao, begins on Tuesday.

It takes place against the backdrop of the raging COVID-19 pandemic. The case of a woman being replaced for college in Shandong Province has triggered public outrage days before gaokao is conducted. The exams are eventually smoothly run, despite being delayed one month. This shows Chinese society can overcome whatever difficulties, and its people always cope with challenges with a positive attitude. 

Taking the exams will form the largest cluster in China since the coronavirus outbreak. Around 10.7 million students will gather in various testing points at the same time, with each place carrying out stringent anti-virus measures. But most examinees and their parents do not worry too much about their safety, as China's prominent measures in the past few months have effectively put the situation under control and built people's confidence in a safe examination environment.

Those involved in the case of the woman being replaced for college in Shandong have been held accountable, and investigations are still ongoing. Both the Chinese public and officials enforce zero tolerance on fraudulent practices in the national college entrance examinations. When the Shandong case was exposed, it created waves among the public, which serves as an example that fairness has to be maintained in gaokao.

Various problems and controversies surrounding gaokao have surfaced. But for a long time, gaokao has remained the biggest systematic guarantee of social fairness, and promotes the upward mobility of different social classes. Although some people might blame gaokao, most would say that it is one of the best things in China. Thanks to gaokao, Chinese society is full of hope. No matter where we start, we have the route and direction for struggles arranged by society.

The Chinese people trust the overall fairness of gaokao. That's why when people hear one illegally replacing another to enter college, they are angry and demand an investigation, and that no one escape punishment.

When similar scandals two decades ago were exposed in Shandong last month, people felt the pain, as if they are happening now. The exams are so close to people's interests that it is equivalent to social fairness.

Ensuring fairness in gaokao has been highlighted this year. It is not only a realistic demand to consolidate the fairness of the exam system, but also a response to public psychology. The collective sense of safety and security of Chinese society comes from expectations that fairness in gaokao will be maintained.

Most Chinese people are aware that with advances in technology and the modernization of population management, the replacement taking place more than a decade ago will not take place today. But people have every reason to demand absolute fairness in the national college entrance examinations. In an era when the internet is highly developed, any scandal that destroys the exam's system will deal a much heavier blow to the public confidence.

Fairness in the exams is not only about fairness of rules and the technical guarantee of its fairness. It is a systematic project of social governance. People will always have suggestions and dissatisfaction. The government should not feel flattered when the exams could be able to ensure relative fairness. It should respond to every public concern at any time, and handle each problem well. This is the only way the government communicates with the public.

The country should turn the achievements of social development, such as the modernization of information management and crackdown on corruption, into the guarantee of exam fairness, and encourage public supervision. 

If and when fairness is ensured, the public is bound to speak highly of the government.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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