More importance should be attached to students' physical exercise, states a commentary in Oriental Morning Post. An excerpt follows:
"The educational authorities of Shanghai decided recently that physical education (PE) should be included in the senior middle school entrance exams. Starting from 2008, students' PE scores will be taken into account for school admission.
"A research report by a local education bureau shows that the physical condition of middle school students in Shanghai has declined in the past few years. Their obesity rate exceeds the average in China. It is a pressing issue to enhance students' physical condition.
"The decline of students' physical condition is common around the country while some big cities take the lead. This is largely related to the examination-oriented education, for which students have to give up time exercising. It also relates to students' eating habits, nutrition and living conditions. It is notable that urban students who enjoy better living conditions actually have poorer physique than their rural counterparts. Also, schools are cutting back on PE due to safety concerns.
"The soul of education should be to civilize one's spirit, strengthen one's body. Both spirit and body should be developed.
"Experts hold that widespread sports activities are essential for modern colleges. This should also be a feature of all full-time education. To include PE in entrance examinations will certainly increase the importance attached to PE.
"Directed by such a baton, the schools in Shanghai are to implement a rule guaranteeing one hour of physical exercise each day for every student."
(China Daily January 26, 2007)