Hundreds of students appeared for the grueling college entrance exam, or gaokao, from their respective quarantine sites Tuesday amid China’s strict coronavirus-related restrictions to quell outbreaks in multiple cities.
More than 800 students across the country were scheduled to sit the exam in quarantine hotels or other temporary quarantine sites, according to the Ministry of Education. A total of 12 students infected with the coronavirus in Sichuan and Liaoning provinces, as well as Beijing, took the exam at shelter hospitals, or fangcang.
The gaokao is a competitive exam that determines whether students can enter college and ultimately their future. A record 11.93 million students will take this year’s exams.
However, students in Shanghai will have to wait until next month to sit for the exams. The city postponed its gaokao until July 7, as it struggled to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Last month, education authorities in the northern city of Tianjin said students infected with the virus or deemed close contacts of COVID-19 patients will not be allowed to take the city’s spring entrance exam for vocational schools that was postponed to June 12. The rule sparked an online backlash for being discriminatory, which resulted in the government rephrasing the rule overnight and instead saying those students can’t enter “regular exam sites.”
Last year, all students in the southern province of Guangdong who took the gaokao were required to get a COVID-19 test beforehand.
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: Students walk toward the exam hall in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, June 7, 2022. VCG)