It Looks Like Prison, But It's Really One Of China's Most Elite Schools

by
Sameera Ehteram
Elite schools run like military academies may yield better academic results but are playing havoc with young students’ lives.

Hengshui No. 2 High School

The image above is that of Hengshui No. 2 High School, an elite school in China that has put up metal bars and grills along its corridors as "anti-suicide iron barriers."

That's the depressing reality for this school, where two students killed themselves within six months.

Hengshui No. 2 High School is renowned for its great marks and academic results. But as with many other elite schools in China, it is known for its strict rules and regulations as well as high-pressure examination system.

According to a study, China’s high school and college examination system is contributing to a wave of student suicides.

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In 2014 there were 79 recorded suicides by students. The Annual Report on China’s Education found that just under 93 percent of suicides took place due to arguments with teachers or the intense pressure to studies.

Hengshui No. 2 High School

A former student of the Hengshui No. 2 High School remembers what life was all about, “Don’t fall behind, don’t get sick, don’t contradict your elders, don’t get in a bad mood, don’t slow down, don’t laugh, don’t talk with classmates too much, don’t daydream, don’t chew your pencil, don’t go to the bathroom often, don’t, oh so many don’ts,” at the institution.

Another student said that the pupils are required to wake up at 5:30 a.m. and go to sleep by 10:10 at night, with 12 classes in between. He said students are only allowed to lie in bed and forbidden to even go to the bathroom during the designated nap time. All meals must be finished within 15 minutes and toilet breaks should be no more than three minutes long.

What dreary and unhealthy existence for youngsters who should be full of life and energy.

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