(ECNS) -- China's gaokao, the country’s annual college entrance examination, began on Wednesday, with a new high of 12.91 million students taking part in, an increase of 980,000 over 2022, the Ministry of Education said.
Various measures such as reducing noise, adjusting the time of school and work, and easing the traffic jam have been issued across the country so as to ensure a smooth gaokao, one of the most important exams for Chinese students.
Some barbecue shops in Zibo, a city that has recently gone viral for its special barbecue in Shandong Province, chose to suspend their businesses during the period and the popular BadaJu Market in Zibo also decided to close for now to create a quiet environment for candidates.
Many Chinese cities such as Shenyang in Liaoning Province and Enshi in Hubei Province released notices of work time adjustment for staff of state organs and institutions to stagger commuting hours and ensure examinees can get to examination venues in time.
Voluntary service activities have been also carried out across China. For example, north China's Tianjin Municipality has arranged 60 taxis to serve examinees at 30 examination venues. Over 1,000 young volunteers have been arranged in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, to maintain order or distribute cooler bags to parent.
Many cities have issued temporary bans on noise, including construction activities, outdoor entertainment activities such as square dancing, and firecrackers which may make noises.
Examinees across China have received diversified best wishes from parents, teachers, and other people.
Some mothers wore cheongsam, or Qipao, which means success in Chinese, hoping their children could outstand the exam.
A school in Changsha, Hunan Province, distributed red envelopes, pastries (Gaodian in Chinese), and glutinous rice dumplings (Zongzi in Chinese) to examinees. The pronunciation of the two kinds of food in Chinese and Chinese word “Gaozhong”, or succeed in an examination in English, are homophonic words, which has expressed the school’s expectations for students. Some teachers bought examinees gifts they want, hoping they will have a good future.
Zhang Guimei, a Chinese educator who has dedicated herself to promoting girls' education in southwest China's Yunnan Province, also extended her best wishes to all examinees.
In addition, professional anti-cheating equipment have been deployed and medical workers were also well-prepared to provide medical services for examinees.
The exam will end on Thursday.