Quake zone students take gaokao in tents

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A temporary testing site for the gaokao in Yangbi, Yunnan province on Monday. LI CANMEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

Sitting in a temporary shelter for the annual national college entrance examination, or gaokao, Su Xiao felt little nervous when it shook lightly due to a 2.1 magnitude quake on Tuesday morning.

Su, 19, from Yangbi No 1 Senior High School, is one of 1,100 students in the provinces of Yunnan and Qinghai who are taking the examination from Monday to Wednesday at temporary shelters.

A 6.4 magnitude quake struck Yangbi Yi autonomous county in Yunnan’s Dali Bai autonomous prefecture on May 21, and a 7.4 magnitude quake jolted Madoi county in Qinghai’s Golog Tibetan autonomous prefecture on May 22.

As aftershocks are still active in the regions, local education departments set up two special test sites to ensure students’ safety and a smooth examination process.

At Yangbi No 1 Senior High School in Yunnan, 338 students are taking the exam in 13 temporary shelters.

“The shelters have been fitted with cooling facilities, including air conditioners and shade nets, to prevent any discomfort from the scorching weather,” said Luo Zhengxiu, vice-principal of the school.

“The county’s bureau of education and sport invited experts to give students psychological counseling before the exam.”

Su said teachers had given students lectures about earthquakes that included ways to escape and protect yourself.

“After the past days’ experience, we have become stronger and braver, so none of us panicked when the quake came during the exam,” he said.

Li Min, another 19-year-old at the same school, said: “In fact, we felt more comfortable in the shelter because it is in good condition.

“I want to express my gratitude for the good preparation by our school, such as providing bottled water and nutritious meals for all the candidates. There were also medical workers prepared for any emergency.”

At Golog National Senior High School in Qinghai, 35 blue tents were erected on the playground before the exam for the 891 candidates in the prefecture.

Each 60-square-meter tent can accommodate 30 students sitting at a reasonable distance, online news platform ThePaper.cn reported, citing Madoi county’s education bureau.

“Staff members and students from the school and the local education department also finished preparatory work, including placing desks and chairs and testing monitoring devices, lighting and stereo equipment for the listening portion of the exam,” said Ding Zhiwei, assistant principal at the school.

“Because of the large temperature difference between day and night, we also prepared electric radiators in all the tents.”


Post time: Jun-09-2021