In just two days, 10.71 million students across China will sit for
the Gaokao, or national entrance exam, which will be a defining moment
for their future. China's Ministry of Education said the number of test
takers has increased by 400,000 compared to last year.
This year's Gaokao will be different from previous ones – for various
reasons. With the COVID-19 pandemic just under control, extra
precautions will be taken this time amid concerns about mass gatherings.
More significantly, people are beginning to question the impartiality of the exam following recent discoveries.
Just weeks ago, a 1997 scandal of an imposter from Shandong Province
who stole her classmate's identity, taking both her Gaokao scores and
university place, was exposed on Chinese social media.
The imposter also happened to be the daughter of the victim's school teacher, who masterminded the entire imposture scam.
Fourteen universities and colleges in Shandong Province have found
242 suspects of taking other students' identities from 2002 to 2009,
according to reports by Southern Metropolis Daily.
As a result, 15 people involved in the scandal were punished.
The Ministry of Education on Thursday issued a notice on its website,
saying it will work with public security and disciplinary authorities
to look into any fraud in the exam and to punish any violators.
It articulated that students who are involved in identity theft in
the exam will be disqualified from enrolling in universities and
This year's Gaokao has already been delayed for a month due to the
ongoing pandemic. Students are required to record their health status,
and will have their body temperature checked before entering exam sites.