Photo: An entire class of high school students receive IV drips while cramming for exams
Photos of high school graduating senior students given intravenous drips in class have become viral on Sina Weibo. Within hours since they were uploaded yesterday morning, they had been shared by tens of thousands of Weibo users.
The original uploader, “CHImushroom”, is a senior student at a high school in Xiaogan, central China’s Hubei province. In the photo, the classroom is brightly lit up late in the evening. On each desk, piles of books take up much space. Wires are installed above desks for hanging IV-drip dispensing bottles. Another animated gif picture offers a panoramic view of the classroom with a teacher standing in the front giving a lecture. “CHImushroom” joked in her microblogging post on Weibo, “This teacher, faced with such an imposing scene, how did you manage to stand firm and hold it?”
Mr. Xia, director of Office of Academic Affairs, said that what is delivered to the students intravenously is nothing but amino acids to restore their health.
“The state grants a 10-yuan subsidy for amino acids to each graduating senior that will participate in the gao kao (National College Entrance Exam). Any student that feels not well can go to the infirmary and take amino acids on the IV drip,” Mr. Xia explained. He said that some students had been below par recently due to the sudden weather changes in the city of Xiaogan, and the school infirmary had been packed with students. In order to spare students the trouble of running back and forth between the infirmary and the classroom and save their time, the school decided to arrange IV drip sessions right in the classroom.
The National College Entrance Examination in China, or commonly known as Gao Kao, is a series of tests adopted by almost all Chinese higher education institutions as one of the very few major criteria for enrollment at the undergraduate level. It is usually taken by students in their last year of high school, although there has been no age restriction since 2001. The tests for various subjects, including the compulsory three (Chinese, Mathematics, English), are arranged on 7th, 8th and 9th of June nationwide each year.
As the sum of the subject marks received by students determines if they can be accepted by their dream schools and if they can go to college at all, regardless of their previous academic performances in high school, the College Entrance Examination is deemed a rite of passage and a life-and-death turning point.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo: (14,496 shares and 4,323 comments)
袁莉wsj: How many healthy adults can such a sick environment possibly cultivate? Moreover, are so many IV drip dispensing bottles really necessary? Does it count as an overuse of medical resources?
火焰之端：Test-taking machines need to be recharged?
胡顺珍儿：This is what Chinese style of college entrance exam looks like…There is no way out…Can the country’s policy take into account the feelings of high school students???
东团–第九年的思念：This is the inevitable result of the test-oriented rote and cram education. What else can they do? Who really likes to get a prick of needle every day?…I can only say that all gao kao examinees are warriors.
天高任鸿飞：We all experienced this. We can only blame ourselves for lack of physical exercises.
香煎秋刀鱼：This must be a performance art show!
一位极其猥琐的90后大叔：I also experienced this back then.
侯贺元：The current state of China’s education has ravaged kids beyond recognition. I have absolute sympathy for the kids. I had one of those days too.
不采蘑菇的老姑娘：F**k! Our physical quality was pretty good back then. We didn’t collapse!
心狼：Total nuts! F**k~ Sigh~Reform is just a matter of time~
小四的哈哈：China’s perverse test-oriented education.
白乌鸦_微博：This is where our “healthy” college students come from! From the bottles that hang high, steady trickles of fluid entering the blood stream are slowly washing away a beautiful hope of “Good Good Study, Day Day Up!” (A saying of Mao known to almost every mainland Chinese, which means, Study hard and make progress every day)
菊一文字昭昭：China’s education mode. Hehe, it never stops ruining people.
成虫爬啊爬：There is one thing more refreshing than amino acids. It’s called cocaine. Fight, dear students! Our motherland’s tomorrow depends on you with IV drip dispensing bottles and syringes!