Chinese students puzzled at bizarre essay testJune 11th, 2010 - 9:32 am ICT by IANS
Beijing, June 11 (IANS) “Would cats take the trouble of catching rats when they can have easy access to fish?” “Looking up to the starry skies and keeping down-to-earth” or “The change of light and shadow in one’s life.” Students in China have been left puzzled by these essay questions in the national entrance examination as people all over the country wondered on the significance behind the bizarre topics.
Around 9.5 million examinees who appeared in the tests had to figure out the true essence of the topics during the examination that were found to be too abstract.
Some students, however, here in the Chinese capital said this year’s essay topics were a bit more in sync with their everyday life.
“In the past, students were asked to summarise a paragraph of reading material, but this year the given topic is easier to understand,” student Yang Mengdi was quoted as saying by the Global Times.
Every province picked a different topic for the examination, which is crucial in determining if a student is qualified to attend a certain college.
In Beijing, the topic was “Looking up to the starry skies and keeping down-to-earth”, which many interpreted as meaning that one should have lofty goals and a pragmatic outlook.
A student, Liu Xingshuo, said the topic was realistic. “I disliked school when I was younger and I performed poorly. So I have a lot to say when talking about the need to be pragmatic.”
Meanwhile, Liang Xinjie, a senior high-school teacher with 17 years of experience, saw it from a slightly different perspective.
“The topic for Beijing teaches us to be responsibility-conscious and not be fastidious and demanding,” Liang said. “Such topics could help develop a correct outlook of the world among students.”
In Shandong province, the essay topic was “The change of light and shadow in one’s life”.
“This topic is about the ups and downs one will experience in life. One needs to be strong when having low ebbs,” a student Lin said.
The general public had yet another view.
“I think these topics are teaching the only-children generation to reflect upon themselves and the social phenomenon,” Yang Lijie, a mother of a Beijing examinee, said.
Essay topics across the country focused on values and traditional moral standards, a report in the Beijing Youth Daily said.
The essay topics are very close to the current situation in China, which is in a transition period, Yu Da, a scholar of ancient literature at Beijing Normal University, told the China National Radio.
The topics were meant to prompt students to observe society, he said.
But some people questioned whether topics alone can offer a lesson to teenagers.
“If the social atmosphere doesn’t change for the better, essay topics alone can’t lead to a change in the values students have developed in their daily lives,” Zhang Bing, a father of a student taking the exam, was quoted as saying.
“Students, even parents, will get lost if what they learn at school or from essay writings is different from what they have seen in society,” Zhang said.
- China tests people's proficiency in Mandarin - Dec 26, 2011
- China prepares against hi-tech classroom cheaters - Jun 07, 2011
- China cracks down on cheating at world's largest test - Jun 03, 2011
- India, China to hold economic dialogue Monday - Sep 23, 2011
- China seeks 'better external environment' - Jan 04, 2012
- Chinese defence minister to visit India - Aug 30, 2012
- Swimmers raise China's Paralympic gold tally to 46 - Sep 04, 2012
- China, Indonesia eye closer military ties - Jan 16, 2012
- China seeks peaceful solution to differences with neighbours (Lead) - Mar 06, 2012
- Cut veg, cook food, says Chinese man's pre-nuptial pact - Sep 27, 2010
- China set to challenge US dominance in pool - Jul 11, 2012
- India, China to hold maiden strategic economic dialogue - Sep 25, 2011
- China publishes books on morality of officials - Jun 18, 2012
- Gastric cancer cases rise in China - Apr 23, 2012
- 'China, India military exchanges back on track' - Sep 03, 2012
Tags: 17 years, catching rats, chinese capital, chinese students, different perspective, entrance examination, essay questions, essay topic, essay topics, global times, high school teacher, life students, light and shadow, lofty goals, reading material, shandong province, starry skies, true essence, ups, ups and downs