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Deluges delay gaokao for hundreds of students

Pub Date:2020-07-09 08:46 Source:China Daily

The two-day national college entrance examination, or gaokao, concluded as scheduled for most students across the country, though flooding caused by heavy rainfall presented difficulties for others from southern provinces.

About 500 examinees in Huangmei county, Hubei province, nearly missed the third test on Wednesday morning, as they were trapped by flooding on the campus where they live.

Local police said about 500 students from Huaning Senior High School could not leave the campus when they tried to depart for their examination sites at around 7 am because floodwater had submerged the grounds.

Rescuers soon arrived at the school to get them out, but many of them failed to get to the examination sites before the scheduled time of 9 am, according to the local government.

The government said the county's rainfall, which started on Tuesday, the first day of the gaokao, had surpassed a record 200 millimeters.

Videos taken by residents showed some male students escaping the campus with the help of rescuers.

Authorities said all of the delayed students were still given two and a half hours to finish their morning test, the standard time for all the students.

Those who failed to get out may face the same situation experienced by more than 2,000 students from neighboring Anhui province's Shexian county.

The Shexian education authorities canceled the two exams scheduled for the first day-Chinese language and mathematics-to make other arrangements as the examination sites had been isolated by flooding.

The Ministry of Education said in an announcement on Wednesday morning that it had approved Shexian to carry out the delayed exams on Thursday after the students finished the scheduled exams on Wednesday.

Backup examination papers, which are prepared every year with a similar degree of difficulty to the original ones, will be used, according to the ministry.

A student's father, who only gave his surname as Tong, said it is impossible to know which one, Plan A or Plan B, would be more advantageous to the examinees.

"You have to accept the fact," he said while waiting for his son outside an examination site on Wednesday.

"My son is still OK, but I do know some students had a bad mood due to the sudden change," Tong said.

To guarantee that Wednesday's exams would go forward, the Shexian county government had prepared a backup site, a primary school, on Tuesday night, in case the two scheduled sites are still inaccessible.

Wang Tianping, head of the Shexian education bureau, said they had finished the preparation of the backup site overnight. One of the most important tasks was disinfection as part of the COVID-19 pandemic control measures.

The local government had also built two floating bridges leading to the original sites on Tuesday night.

The flooding had receded by early Wednesday morning, so the students could still sit in the originally allocated classrooms for the exams.

The rainstorm alert issued by the National Meteorological Center-which spanned from 8 pm on Wednesday to 8 pm on Thursdayexcluded Anhui, which means the students in Shexian would not face heavy rainfall on the last day of their gaokao.


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