BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The newly announced overhaul of China's college entrance exam and university enrollment system requires support from all walks of life, said a commentary in the Communist Party of China's flagship newspaper on Friday.
The People's Daily hailed the reforms as "hard yet significant steps" to improve fairness and transparency.
The reforms, centered mainly on leveling the playing field for less privileged students, have been touted as the most comprehensive since China resumed the exam in 1977 following the decade-long Cultural Revolution.
"The principle of equality should be adhered to, as it is the foundation and advantage of China's college enrollment system," said the commentary.
Chinese authorities announced on Thursday that they will adjust university enrollment quotas in order to increase enrollment rates in central, western and populous regions. These measures "fundamentally ensure equal college opportunities for different social strata," according to the commentary.
It said the quotas should be made more transparent and put under public supervision, stressing that the reforms will attract a lot of public attention in a country that greatly emphasizes education.
The current system has contributed greatly to social fairness and identifying talent, but it has also drawn complaints due to its overemphasis on numerical scores, which has skewed the rounded development of students.
Most students enter university by taking a fixed, universal diet of exam subjects in science or arts.
Once the reforms are implemented, students will be able to submit their scores in three subjects taken throughout high school from a pool of six -- biology, chemistry, geography, history, physics and politics -- together with mandatory scores from their exams in Chinese, math and English. Students will be able to resit their English proficiency test once, and submit the better score.
Pilot programs in the first grade of high schools in Shanghai and Zhejiang will begin this year and will be expanded nationwide after three years, Vice Education Minister Du Yubo told a press conference on Thursday.
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