- Title: Chinese students take college entrance exam delayed for a month by virus
- Date: 7th July 2020
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (JULY 7, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF STUDENTS LINING UP AND ENTERING EXAM SITE SIGN READING (Chinese): "PLEASE BRING EXAM PASS AND ID CARD FOR ENTERING" STUDENTS WALKING PAST SIGN VARIOUS OF STUDENTS ENTERING EXAM SITE PARENTS WAITING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 18 YEAR-OLD STUDENT WITH THE SURNAME JIANG, SAYING: " Yes. There is (pressure), because we had been preparing for the June exam, then suddenly there's another extra month. I was not prepared for the change. I almost felt like I couldn't make it." STUDENTS LINED UP VARIOUS OF STUDENTS STUDYING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 50-YEAR-OLD PARENT OF STUDENT TAKING EXAM, WORKING IN LOGISTICS INDUSTRY, MA, SAYING: "(My son's) school is taking good measures. It has taken into consideration students' mental state in many aspects. Very thoughtful. It was very thoughtful of the teachers and school management to remind us of details such as wearing masks when going out, and give some tips before the exam. They held a meeting for parents two days ago, briefing us on things that we needed to prepare before the exam. Even though we can't meet the teachers in person, there's not much difference in meeting them in person or online." VARIOUS OF STUDENTS LINING UP (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 50-YEAR-OLD PARENT OF STUDENT TAKING EXAM, WORKING IN LOGISTICS INDUSTRY, MA, SAYING: "The Eighth High School has been holding courses online. (Teachers) will scrutinise students online. Students were required to be online at 7:30 am even in the last phase of the semester. Teachers have been managing them full-time online. Parents actually weren't involved too much. Teachers could see how students are doing through the internet, even when they are not physically at school." PARENT WAITING AT ENTRANCE STUDENTS QUEUING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) PARENT OF STUDENT TAKING EXAM, WANG, SAYING: "(We) have been doing what the school required. He (my son) is a student of Shiyan (high school). Teachers have given them a pile of studying materials. My printer almost broke down. He printed lecture notes and study materials. He printed pile after pile." PARENTS WAITING AND SITTING ON CHAIRS VARIOUS OF PARENTS WAITING ENTRANCE OF SCHOOL
- Embargoed: 21st July 2020 05:23
- Keywords: COVID-19 China Gaokao college entrance exam coronavirus
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLT6JBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Millions of Chinese high school students are taking the country's grueling college entrance exam on Tuesday (July 7), following a one month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to state media, nearly 11 million teenagers will attend the test, also known as 'Gaokao', this year, competing to enter China's top universities amid incredible pressure from parents and families.
Schools in Beijing have set up body temperature check points at exam centre entrances. Students must show a QR code on their mobile phones that is used for contact tracing and to indicate they are healthy. Students also must wear face masks during the exam.
Beijing has been scrambling to quash an outbreak traced to a massive wholesale market in the city early last month and reported no confirmed cases of the virus on Tuesday, down from one a day earlier.
The city's high school students have taken online classes since early February due to the virus, which some students said reduced communication with teachers and peers, and prolonged pressure, particularly in light of the exam's delay.
"We had been preparing for the June exam, then suddenly there's another extra month. I was not prepared for the change. I almost felt like I couldn't make it," said an 18-year-old student sitting the exam with the surname Jiang, who was cramming with her Chinese textbook before the test.
Parents said they have felt some pressure as well.
"Teachers have given them a pile of studying materials. My printer almost broke down," said Mr. Wang, who declined to give his full name, adding that his son printed lecture notes and study materials. "He printed piled after pile."
Other parents said they appreciated schools giving students exam tips and reminders about virus prevention.
Much of China typically shuts down during the exam, with drivers banned from honking their horns, and police on patrol to make sure students are not disturbed.
(Production: Shubing Wang, Fang Nanlin)
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