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Global Times

Shanghai postpones high school, college entrance exams amid epidemic

Global Times

By Leng Shumei and Yu Xi Published: May 07, 2022 02:51 PM

Shanghai has decided to postpone local high school and college entrance exams for about one month to July 11-12 and July 7-9 respectively, as the city enters a vital phase in its fight against the COVID-19 epidemic amid a declining tendency that has lasted for about two weeks.

Shanghai deputy mayor Chen Qun announced the decision at a press conference on Saturday. He said that one of the considerations was that students should be left with enough time to study at schools to prepare for such crucial exams.

After the epidemic, if the students participate in the exams directly following a period of staying at home, they probably would not be in good condition, Chen explained.

Shanghai also decided to cancel two test items, namely physical and chemical experiment test and English listening and speaking test, of the high school entrance exam as it is difficult to arrange epidemic prevention and control work for the tests. In addition, students actually cannot accept training on physical and chemical experiments due to the epidemic, according to Chen.

China's national college entrance exam, also known as Gaokao, was once postponed by a month in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic. But this year, as Shanghai independently organizes its own high school and college entrance exams, the decision is believed not to affect students outside the city.

Local students and teachers reached by the Global Times said the decision was not unexpected and they understand the considerations of the government.

An English teacher from one of the best high schools in Shanghai told the Global Times on Saturday on the condition of anonymity that she hailed the decision to delay the college entrance exam and would adjust exam preparation plan for students in the following period.

The teacher said that online classes are not as effective as offline classes at schools. Some students used to study at libraries, but could not go to the libraries now due to the epidemic, which will affect the effect of learning. She noted that the students could use the extra one month to reinforce their learning.

A Shanghai student at the third year in high school surnamed Huang said she had been prepared for the decision since the beginning of the epidemic. "It would be an opportunity for students to reinforce our learning and we do not have to worry to attend the exams directly after resuming school after the epidemic."

The parents of another Shanghai student at the third year in high school surnamed Chen are working at the anti-epidemic frontline. Chen told the Global Times on Saturday that the decision leaves students with more time to study, but a disadvantage is that the summer holiday would be shortened by one month correspondingly.

The decision to postpone the exams was announced one day after Shanghai vowed to stick to the dynamic zero-COVID strategy and push forward the decisive battle against the epidemic following a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Thursday, which stressed the need to accelerate the pace of control work to deal with sporadic outbreaks.

It also came as Shanghai has showed a declining trend of newly reported positive cases for eight consecutive days. On Saturday, the city reported 253 confirmed cases and 3,961 silent virus carriers.

A model developed by Yao Maosheng, a professor at the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Peking University, showed that new infections will dropbelow 1,000 around May 19. By the end of May, the current infection wave in Shanghai is likely to be contained, and the city will gradually lift the lockdowns by then.

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