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Henan sees first decline in college candidates in decade
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The number of students in the most populous Chinese province of Henan who will attend the national College Entrance Examination (CEE) is 29,000 less than last year, representing the first year-on-year decline over a decade, according to the provincial education department Friday.

Xiao Xinsheng, deputy director of the provincial education department, said 960,000 young people are expected to attend the CEE, scheduled for next month.

Zhao Xin, an official of the Higher Education Admission Office of Henan Province, attributed the Henan decline to the country's family planning policy, which has been in effect for more than three decades and limits most couples to one child in urban areas and two in rural areas.

The policy has prevented an estimated 400 million births in China.

"The lagging effect of the family-planning policy begins to show up in some parts of China," Zhao said.

Zhao also said the decline was also an result of migration from Henan to other parts of the country.

The population in Henan exceeded 99 million by the end of last year and is expected to reach 100 million next year.

A record 10.5 million young Chinese, including 989,000 from Henan, participated in the national College Entrance Examination (CEE) last June.

The national figure for this year is not available at this time. However, media reports showed the number of college candidates in Shanghai dropped by 16 percent. The declines were 9.1 percent and 7.8 percent in Shandong and Fujian provinces.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2009)

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