China bans exams for 6-year-olds in its quest to retool the educational system

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Written exams for six and seven-year-olds were on Monday, August 30, 2021, banned in Beijing as part of the quest to reform the Country’s educational sector which is aimed at relieving pressure on parents and pupils in hyper-competitive schools.

Previously, the highly examination-oriented Chinese educational system required students to take exams from first grade upwards, resulting in the feared University entrance exam, which is usually taken at age 18, where a single score determines a child’s life trajectory.

“Too frequent exams … which cause students to be overburdened and under huge exam pressure, have been axed by the Ministry of Education,” the statement said.

Also according to the directive, the Examination pressure on pupils from a young age “harms their mental and physical health.”

The above measures form part of governmental reform of China’s educational sector which will see cram schools being cracked down.

Furthermore, this move is aimed at reducing inequality in the country’s educational sector where some middle-class parents willingly fork out 100,000 yuan ($15,400) or more per year on private tutoring to get their children into top schools.

An order was made in July 2021 for all private tutoring firms to turn non-profits and prohibited tutoring agencies from organizing classes in core subjects during weekends and holidays.

Moreover, according to the directive, to deal with the concentration of top and talented students in some schools, teachers must rotate schools every six years.

Also, China’s Education Ministry banned early this year, written homework for pupils in first and second grade and limited homework hours for Junior High School Students.