Addictive Studying

The National College Entrance Examination, in China commonly know as Gaokao, is by far the most important schooling step in a persons’ life.

The Gao Kao exams tests take place every year between June 7-9.  They exam students on a number of subjects, mandatory subjects are Chinese, Mathematics and English.

On May the 4th a set of photos was released by a blogger dubbed “CHImushroom”: the images show students preparing for this special exam during a night session, while collectively receiving intravenous fluids (amino acids). Those specific photos were taken in the Hubei Xiaogan No. 1 Middle School, but the school in question is not the only ones using such extreme methods.

After confirming the authenticity of the photos, the headmaster added that the students were offered the injections in order to have more energy and have a higher concentration-span for such important exams, and the only reason why they were offered in a class room, and not in a normal hospital, was to save study time.

Thousands of messages were sent online to the school office expressing sympathy with the fact of the students taking amino acids into their veins. The school administrative Xia, said that students were offered the injection to help improve their physical condition and energy supply, none of them were obligated to take the injection, continued Xia. The school believes injecting amino acids has no harmful effects and refuses to stop offering the fluids, “the school will not suspend the injection and we will continue if students want it said Gao”.Some micro bloggers said they had the injection and it actually helped them perform better for the highly-pressured exam. The injections became very popular over the years however the provincial education authority said they have never know about it and has launched an investigation.

Some experts have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the injection of amino acids as a provider of energy to help students have better performances in tests and exams. Experts also say that it is not necessary at all for normal people to get extra supplies of amino acids.

The physical effects that this practice may cause to these students can be negative and harmful. The nutritionist Zuo Xuezhi says that “It is stupid for the school to let students have the amino acid injection”, and that the intravenous injection itself may lead to adverse reactions. Plus, when taking injections in a classroom, the students are vulnerable to infections.

In addition, the fluids containing concentrated acids are reported to help with general health, stamina and keeping the students calm. This proves the point that academically student could improve their potential for the GaoKao exams. On the other hand, even though exhaustion might be cancelled out by the effects of the drugs, it has been argued that there is an immoral or extreme methodology, and have been critized by chinese, one blogger has stated “it doesn’t show that the students are sick. It shows that society is sick”. This proves the amount of pressure students feel with the Gaokao and are willing to do anything for a higher studying rate – rather than taking breaks.

Being aware of these facts, the imminent and undeniable international growth of China, seems to be hidden behind a mask beyond which constant pressure, inhuman levels of competition, and the strict policies of a repressive government that lives by one side the protection of the inalienable human rights, are the main actors and driving forces of this accelerated development and economic growth. The Chinese government is favoring a culture in which the importance of numbers, objectives and international appearance are being placed above humanity values. And so the ancient Chinese spiritual tradition as regards education is fading to leave the way open to the transparent aims of a government lacking in representativeness.


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