Original publication date: 2/26/13

zhongkao“Several years ago, I moved from my hometown to Guangzhou with my daughter specifically so that she could get a better education. How could I have known that she wouldn’t be allowed to take the high school entrance exam?” Recently, Mr. Li told reporters that on the 18th of this month, he took his daughter to the Jiahe County Guangxin Middle School to register and pay tuition for the second half of her third year in middle school. At that time, he was unexpectedly asked to sign a “verification” that his daughter would voluntarily not take part in the high school entrance exam. If he didn’t sign, he wouldn’t be allowed to pay the tuition.

The school says that no students are forced to not take the exam, and that signing the verification form is simply a way of preventing future disputes. The Board of Education of Baiyun district responded, saying that it had already conducted an investigation, and that no cases students not being allowed to take the exam existed. But information from lead teachers and students contradicts the official testing policies, and the local board of education has already published a list of six suggestions according to which schools should make adjustments.


Parent: this is not the first time we required to sign

Reporters visited Jiahe County Guangxin Middle School in Baiyun district last Friday at 11 AM to see third-year student (#5 class) Xiao Li and her father, Mr. Li. According to Mr. Li, when he went to pay tuition on the 18th, he was first told by the finance office to find the lead teacher. The lead teacher gave Xiao Li the already-printed verification letter, on which was written, “With the agreement of the parent, this student will not participate in the high school entrance exam,” and “Requests the finance office to provide school enrollment.” The teacher required Mr. Li to sign the letter before paying tuition.

“I got mad instantly, because this isn’t the first time this has happened.” Last year before mid-term exams, Xiao Li was given a similar document for Mr. Li to sign.

Mr. Li said plainly that although Xiao Li’s grades were not good, he could not stand seeing his daughter being deprived of the chance to pass the high school entrance exam.


Students: only one class takes the high school entrance exam

Around noon, students started to come out of the school. Reporters conducted spot interviews with six students from the middle school third year class, who all said that the #1 class was the high school entrance exam class, and that none of the #2, 3, 4, and 5 classes were preparing for the test. One student named Xiao Xin said that starting in the third year, lead teachers have urged students with low grades to not take the exam. They had her sign and turn in voluntary non-participation forms twice. Xiao Xin said that she originally did what she could to not sign the forms, but the teachers told her that she couldn’t keep attending class if she didn’t sign the forms, so she had no choice but to sign them.


School: verification form prevents future disputes

Last Friday afternoon, reporters contacted Guangxin Middle School principle Mr. Lian Chao. He said that there were no cases of students being forced to sit out of the exam, and that no matter what class students were in, any student can take the exam if they would like to do so. Lian Chao said that students come from many different places to Guangxin Middle School, and that most are the children of migrant workers. Only in order to work out individuals intentions for registering and avoid cases of temporary registration of students for the exam through the school, do they ask students and parents to sign such verifications.

Lian Chao stressed to reporters that the third year classes are not divided into “exam classes” and “non-exam classes”, nor are they organized by student scores. It may be that the lead teacher of the #5 class had not properly communicated with the students that caused some students and parents to have this kind of misunderstanding.


Board of Education: School ordered to rectify the situation

The Baiyun District Board of Education told reporters that they understand Xiao Li will not take the exam in Guangzhou (because her hukou residence registration is in Henan), and will return to her hometown to take the exam and attend high school. In December of 2012, Teacher Bo, the lead teacher, told students orally that if they do not intend to take the high school entrance exam in Guangzhou, they can make an application for this purpose with the verification and signature of their parents. To help the students manage the process of verifying their intent to not take the exam, the teacher wrote the format for the verification letter on the blackboard. “Due to lack of proper communication between teachers and parents, there has been a serious violation exam enrollment policies, which has led to misunderstanding and negative reactions by parents.” The Baiyun District Board of Education has ordered the school to increase oversight, thoroughly examine and rectify the situation, and increase awareness of laws related to school administration.


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Warning: the following story contains graphic language and details regarding animal cruelty. Sensitive readers please take note.


stray dogsGuangzhou Daily reports that around noon on the 27th, the deadly beating of a stray dog took place on the lawn opposite the Taoyuan cafeteria of South China Normal University. Guards at the school claim that the school issued a document ordering the capture and beating of stray dogs in order to rid the campus of them, since there have been instances of stray dogs biting people. Mao Mao, a volunteer who has taken care of stray dogs for nine years, said that city residents who encounter stray dogs can dial emergency services at 110, contact NGOs, or post on weibo to help the dogs.


School guards tied dog to tree, beat it to death

The events that occurred at noon yesterday near the statue of Tao Xingzhi involved a school security bureau staff member beating a dog with a stick.

An eyewitness named Ms. Huang remembers that about ten security team members wearing black uniforms dragged a small mutt with yellow fur over to a the trunk of a tree in the plaza and tied the dog to it. Ms. Huang says that students saw guards drag the mutt all the way from the east #19 dormitory all the way to the plaza.

Ms. Huang went over to ask about the situation, and one of the men repeatedly told her to leave. When Ms. Huang continued to ask questions, a man who called himself a school administrator told her that school had given confidential orders to “rectify” the stray dogs on campus. After this, a guard grabbed a wooden stick and started to beat the dog. ” I turned my head away, unable to watch, and heard two or three shrieks that sounded nothing like a dog’s regular barking. Other dogs in the residential area all started barking too.” Ms. Huang confirmed that after the dog had been beaten to death, its stiff body was put into a canvas sack.


Cleaning up: who is responsible when stray dogs bite people? 

A reporter went to the scene of the incident yesterday and talked to a woman named Mrs. Chen, who was relaxing in the sunlight. She said the didn’t know about the incident, but that there many school professors and administrators walking their dogs in the area after dinner that night. “We rarely see stray dogs though,” she said.

A guard at the security checkpoint of the administrative residence middle section #7 building revealed to our reporter that there had been an incident of a stray dog attacking someone on campus, and that school administration had ordered security staff to clean up the mutt population by capturing and beating the dogs. A janitorial staff member at the plaza also mentioned that many teachers and admins take their children for walks in the area. “It’s hard to manage stray cats and dogs. If someone gets bit, who’s going to be held responsible?”


Stray dog rescue volunteer: many strays around campus abandoned by students

Mao Mao, director of a non-profit organization dedicated to helping stray dogs for nine years, said that most stray dogs around the school were abandoned by students upon graduation. If the school wants to resolve issues with stray dogs, it should treat the problem from its root by increasing oversight of dorms and forbidding students from keeping dogs.

As for stray dogs biting people, Mao Mao feels that the strays in the city will instinctually protect themselves if attacked, and that most strays that were originally raised by humans hope people will help them.

Mao Mao pointed out that if city residents encounter stray dogs, they can call emergency services at 110 to have appropriate staff take dogs to kennels, and that NGOs can also pick up stray dogs. Residents can also take pictures of dogs and put them on weibo to let caring organizations or individuals rescue and take care of the animals.



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Attraction of First-Tier Cities Weakens, Half of Graduates Go Home to Find Work (part 1)

January 15, 2013

For college graduates born during the 90s, the draw of cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou is weakening. There are more and more who want to head home and develop their careers in second-tier cities. Reports this morning covered the meetings of the 14th International Western China Fair Hangzhou Professional Recruitment Conference and the Hangzhou City […]

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