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High Schools in S. China Province to Adopt Credit Hours System

Academic achievement of high school students in Guangzhou, capital of southern province of Guangdong, will be for the first time measured in credit hours as of September.

In addition, their courses will become selective and the size of their classes will be reduced, reported Monday's China Daily.

The central government-backed education reform is probably one of the biggest reform pushes since 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded, the paper said.

A new student appraisal system , known as the "growing record", will be initiated.

Sources from the provincial educational department say it is likely that in a couple of years, colleges in Guangdong will adjust requirements for undergraduate applicants and use the "growing record" as a reference for making decisions about admissions.

Gao Lingfeng, one of the top officials from the Institute Center of Basic Education and Courses at South China Normal University said that in the future, even the grade point average system -- known as GPA system throughout much of the world -- will be introduced in Guangdong.

The "growing record" will be based mainly on marks and teachers' comments. It will be declared in class each week, the paper quoted an unnamed teacher from the city's Zhixin Middle School as saying.

Through the move, senior high students will also be able to choose their courses freely and mix with people from different classes and even different grades.

Traditionally, there would be 40 to 50 students in a large high school class but now, every class will have no more than 10 students.

Some students and their parents are concerned about choosing an adequate course. Analysts pointed out that guidance will be more important once the elective system is introduced.
(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2004)

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