BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The government is working to prevent schools from recruiting students based on their math scores in order to relieve some of the study burden for students, the Ministry of Education said Friday.
The ministry has ordered local education departments to open hotlines that will allow the public to provide tips regarding schools that select students based on their performance in math competitions or that offer math classes that are too advanced.
The ministry will arrange talks with relevant officials in provincial-level education departments if strong complaints are reported, said Liu Limin, vice minister of education, adding that those responsible for related violations will be harshly punished.
The ministry also said it will crack down on arbitrary costs charged by schools, as well as supervise the quality of the school uniforms they require.
Advanced math training courses started becoming popular in major cities in 1998, when entrance exams for junior middle schools were abolished in favor of recruiting students based on their place of residence.
However, students sometimes have the opportunity to enroll in better schools if they demonstrate aptitude in math, English, music or sports.