middle school in Xianyang, northwestern China’s Shaanxi Province organized a junior high school entrance examination recently for primary school students, aimed at recruiting the best local students. After media coverage, local education authorities reprimanded the school for going against a rule that the examination should be organized by education departments on a city-wide scale, reported the Shanghai-based news portal The Paper
The Xianyang school is not alone in going against such government regulations, noted commentator Li Qinyu, writing for the portal. This is because schools wish to choose the most academic primary students. “Parents and children who cannot speak standard Chinese fluently are not qualified to attend my school,” Li cited the person in charge of the middle school as saying.
This is a typical form of status discrimination, Li pointed out. Education has, among others, the important function of bridging the social divide, and education equity provides a level playing field for all young people. Only when identity, status and wealth are screened out of the discussion will youths have transparent, equal and fair education chances, she said.
Given that education equity is a top priority in both education laws and government policies, that the person in charge has made such remark reflects his basic lack of responsibility as an educator, Li said.