|Metal-coated clothing banned at college exams(Photo/China.org.cn)|
Jilin Province will implement a security check that bans any goods containing metal, including bras with metal clasps, from the upcoming national college entrance examinations (gaokao) to avoid cheating.
Reactions have been mixed to the strict policy, with some saying it is a step too far, but other parents and students saying it will help to ensure fairness in the exam.
Education authorities in the province have called the policy "silent gaokao," since students will be barred from bringing anything into the exam hall that makes the metal detector beep, including clothing. Those who fail a recheck will not be able to sit the exam, which takes place on June 7 and 8.
Students who have metal substances implanted in their body, such as heart pacemakers, must hand in certificates issued by appointed hospitals.
A staff member from the provincial admission and examination office said the policy, which is stricter than last year's, was made to strengthen the exam discipline and avoid wireless devices used to cheat.
Teachers are giving guidance to students on the dress code for exam days, for example, wearing sports bras without a metal clasp, pants with elastic waistbands instead of zippers, and shoes without metal eyelets.
Multiple drills rehearsing for the checks have been held in schools recently.
An accountant surnamed Wu from the city of Jilin, whose daughter will sit the exam, said that even though the policy has gone a little too far on the dress code, especially for girls, she supports it in general as she also wants fairness in the exam.
"I just bought my daughter a new bra and we don't need to buy other clothes," Wu said. "It's been heard province-wide that in some counties, the problem of cheating is severe and many of us parents think it's unfair for children. I hope the policy is not just a formality."
In 2009, high school teachers in Songyuan in the province were caught selling wireless cheating devices to students, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
A candidate for this year's exam from Songyuan, surnamed Tang, said that he and most of his classmates support the strict policy and believe it is necessary to suppress cheating.
"Any inconvenience caused to achieve the fairness in the gaokao is understandable," Tang said, adding that he is optimistic the policy will be effective.
Security checks with metal detectors for the gaokao have been implemented in some provinces in the past few years, mainly focusing on detecting wireless cheating devices.
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