[photopress:chinese_runners_fit_for_uni.jpg,full,alignright]A new proposal by the Ministry of Education (MOE)is that China’s university applicants could be asked to prove their fitness before they are enrolled on degree courses. The reason is the widely voiced fear that the physical health of the Chinese youth is on the decline.
It is not just university aspirants who need to be fit. The MOE also plans to raise the physical test standard for students, aged 15 and 16, who wish to enrol in senior high schools.
A senior official with the ministry told a press conference, ‘Increasing the weighting of the physical test result in a student’s overall academic score which affects whether or not they are enrolled in a senior high school is a nationwide trend.’
The physical test is made up of a 50-meter dash, long jump and shot putt although there are slight variations in the test and the scoring around the country. For example, in Jiangsu Province, it counts for 7% of the total mark of a student applying for a senior high school place.
Liao Wenke, a vice-director with the ministry, said, ‘The results of physical tests taken during senior high schools will be recorded in students’ academic files. The results can then be reviewed as an important reference by universities and other higher educational institutes in enrolling students.’
China is not the first country to introduce such tests. Harvard had the notorious step test which possibly proved very little.
The ministry is also considering using the physical test result as a way to split two university applicants who achieve the same mark in written examinations.
What made this all happen was aa survey, conducted by the ministry, that showed, despite an obvious increase in Chinese students’ height in recent years, an overall decline in their physical strength. (Such a survey would, almost without a doubt, reveal the same results in every other country in the world.)
The survey, involving 380,000 students China, revealed a sharp increase in the number of students between the ages of seven and 18 who were overweight. The survey also found that, in 2005, Chinese students jumped an average of three centimeters less in the long jump compared with 2000. In fairness, if they were overweight a long jump is pretty much bound to be on the shortish side.
The ministry urged schools to do their bit: ‘Courts, gymnasiums and fields should be open to young people, encouraging them to do more physical exercise.’ And perhaps if the tutors, teachers and lecturers led the way in exercising every day this would encourage the students no end.
Source: China View