Millions sit China’s most closely watched university entrance exams

Beijing, June 7 (EFE).- China’s university entrance exams began Wednesday, breaking a new record of students risking their future in a test considered the most closely monitored in the country’s history so far to prevent fraud.

The education and public security ministries said Monday they would show “zero tolerance” towards crimes related to the “gaokao” exam, sat by 12.91 million and which will end Thursday, adding that police in several towns have already investigated various cases of cheating and frauds.

Among the violations, authorities cited the leaking of the questions and answers, the participation of impostors and the sale or use of electronic devices that allow cheating during the test.

Since 2016, cheating on the “gaokao” has been a crime included in China’s Penal Code and punishable by up to seven years in prison, due to mafias that try to sell products to students to cheat, such as clothing with built-in microphones.

The education ministry asked participants and parents to “not trust announcements from training centers that claim to know the exam questions” or “promises to pass,” since “the exam papers are kept secret” and “inaccessible to educational centers.”

Testing institutions in provinces such as Yunnan and Guangzhou in the south have improved their intelligent security controls, which will be able to detect electronic devices such as mobile phones, headphones and electronic watches, local newspaper Global Times reported.

In the city of Bijie, in the center of the country, applicants will have to go through three security checks before being seated and starting the test.

To prevent impostors, the city of Chongqing will apply for the first time a video facial recognition system at the access points to the examination centers.

These days, Chinese cities divert traffic from certain roads to help young people taking the test, and some construction work or other noisy activities are halted until the end of the exam.

The entrance exam, which millions of Chinese students have taken since 1977, is a stressful test for young people in the country, since having higher education can determine professional success in their lives and is a source of social pride for their families, even more so if they enter a prestigious university. EFE


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