China Bans Exams for Six- to Seven-Year-Olds

The Chinese government on Monday has banned written exams for six- and seven-year-olds as part of a sweeping education reform to help relieve parental and student pressure.

The Ministry of Education said in a statement that “too frequent exams” are harming the “mental and physical health” of students.

China’s exam-oriented system previously required students to take exams from first grade onwards which culminates in the feared university entrance exam at age 18 known as the gaokao.

The new regulations also limited exams in other years of compulsory education to once a term with mid-term and mock examinations allowed in junior high school.

The measures are part of wider government reforms in China’s education sector which also included a crackdown on cram schools.

Weibo, China’s social media platform, is seeing mixed reactions to this initiative. Some commentators said it is a positive step while others are questioning how schools will measure and test students without exams.

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