Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Silence is Requested in the Ultimate Abyss

It was been blissfully peaceful and quiet round here for the last two days.

I live almost next door to one of the city’s larger high schools and it is extremely noisy. They start at about 7 am and keep up the racket until 11 pm. 7 days a week. Loudspeakers blare out pointless announcements, morning exercise music, and occasionally some teachers’ attempts at karaoke. Sports meetings are frequent and are accompanied by screaming commentaries from some hysterical jerk of a teacher.

But for two days a year, silence reigns. Yes, the local school is one of Liuzhou’s 高考 centres. This is the all important college entrance exam for which students have been cramming since birth. It will decide the rest of their lives. The stress levels are ridiculous and every year we hear stories of suicides and breakdowns. The educational value of the exam is highly suspect.

Every year the security becomes stricter as more and more sophisticated ways of cheating are developed (often by teachers). Students are scanned for communication devices etc.

This year’s exam started yesterday and ends today. All over China. There are signs everywhere telling drivers not to blow their horns (most Chinese drivers are incapable of driving without blowing the horn every few metres). Parking regulations, such as they are, are suspended so that the kids’ parents can camp outside the school for the duration in some sort of show of solidarity.

Students take exam amid strict security.

Mama waits for her precious

It's over!

Traffic jam on the sidewalk outside the exam centre.

Now the students will wait for the results which will decide the next stage of their education. College or university. Key university or local vocational school. Whichever, they will go there for a good rest and never have to worry about passing exams again. Colleges rarely fail students, no matter how bad they are. It would make the college lose face! I’ve seen students pass the exams without even having ever attended the college!


Tags: , . This entry was posted on Friday, June 8th, 2012 at 1:11 pm and is filed under Chinese Education, Liuzhou News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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