China bans exams for six-year-olds as Beijing retools education system

A man escorts his granddaughter home from school in Shanghai, China. The government is embarked on a sweeping reform of the education system, abolishing year-end exams for six- and seven-year-olds. – EPA pic, August 30, 2021.

BEIJING banned written exams for six- and seven-year-olds today, as part of sweeping education reforms aimed at relieving pressure on pupils and parents in China’s hyper-competitive school system.

China’s exam-orientated system previously required students to take exams from first grade onwards, culminating in the feared university entrance exam at age 18 known as the gaokao, where a single score can determine a child’s life trajectory.

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