The MOE has issued a notice entitled Further Strengthening the Management of National Competitions for Primary and Secondary School Students, in response to some cases of fraud and irregularities detected in some competitions.
The Notice requires that competition organizers conduct a comprehensive self-examination to review the authenticity and originality of past award-winning entries. For future competitions, the Notice orders that they should be not-for-profit and entries that are clearly beyond a student’s cognitive ability or that have clearly been drafted by trained professionals should be rejected.
The Notice requires local education authorities to strictly implement a policy of “admission without exams” for students in compulsory education, and makes it clear that no competition awards will count towards the overall score for senior high school admissions.
The Notice emphasizes that the MOE will tighten the management of approved competitions, and that any fraud or irregularity will be investigated and disciplinary action will be taken, including removing competitions and organizers from officially approved lists. Sub-national governments are required to bolster management and regulation of provincial-level and national competitions held in their jurisdictions. They are also mandated to clearly communicate competition management policies and rules to students, parents and teachers, to allow them to make informed decisions with regard to which contests to sign up for.