Full-swing preparations for national college exam amid Covid-19 control

  • China
  • Monday, 06 Jul 2020

TAIYUAN, July 6 (Xinhua): After an "examinee" developed a cough and fever, the student, played by a staff member, was immediately taken to an isolated backup room and his papers, stationery and other articles were carefully sealed.

This was a scene from a drill in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, ahead of the large-scale national college entrance exam -- also known as the Gaokao, which will begin on Tuesday (July 7) with 10.71 million students across the country participating.

This year's Gaokao, the most important event for Chinese students, has been delayed by one month due to the Covid-19 epidemic. More than 7,000 exam sites have been set up across the country, including around 400,000 exam rooms, while 945,000 people will work as invigilators or service providers.

In Shanxi, a total of 325,675 students are expected to sit the exam and nearly 40,000 people will work as monitors and relevant staff.

In Taiyuan No. 2 Experimental Middle School, a major test site in the city, 37 regular test rooms and five isolation rooms have been prepared for 1,110 students.

Students will have their temperatures taken and their identities checked before entering exam rooms. Candidates who have a fever or other Covid-19-related symptoms during the exam will be guided into the isolation rooms prepared with disinfectants and personal protective equipment.

"By holding emergency drills, we will be able to deal with emergencies more calmly and create a fair and just exam environment for students," said Chen Wenbin, principal of the school.

In an exam site in Beijing's Fengtai District, where new clusters of Covid-19 infections were spotted last month, two separate passages for students and staff have been arranged to best contain cross-infections, and the number of examinees in each room has been reduced from 30 to 20.

The provincial education department in south China's Guangdong Province issued a notice that brought forward the entrance time from half an hour to one hour before the exam, to avoid delaying the exam due to health checks.

In central China's Wuhan, a city formerly hit hard by the novel coronavirus, about 59,000 students will take Gaokao in 58 test sites air-conditioned with adequate ventilation.

According to the Ministry of Education, daily temperature taking and health monitoring of Gaokao candidates and staff began to be carried out across the country 14 days prior to the exam. Emergency plans have also been drafted in flood-hit areas.

A candidate surnamed Zhang in the city of Jincheng, Shanxi, said she was inspired by medical workers during the epidemic and her goal was to be admitted to a good medical school and become an "angel in white" in the future. - Xinhua
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