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Single kids to get bonus marks on exam

By Guo Kai (Global Times)

08:38, September 26, 2012

The Fujian provincial government Tuesday said students from one-child families in rural areas of Fujian Province will get bonus marks on important exams.

The extra scores will be given to single children taking their senior high school entrance exam, according to a circular posted on the provincial government's website.

The preferential policy aims at helping lift some rural families with one child out of poverty, the Fuzhou-based Strait News reported Tuesday.

The notice said the new incentive only applies to families that have one child or those that have been permitted to have two children and both are girls and one of the parents is sterilized.

The province said the new rule aims to help facilitate the families' access to education, but the circular did not say how many extra points their children will be given on their high school entrance examinations.

The policy of adding extra marks on tests taken by single children in rural areas used to exist in many places in the country.

It was criticized by the public for not being fair to other students and incidents of cheating were widespread.

"The examination is a standard set for all students. If some get extra marks just because they are the only child of their parents, passing is no longer based on merit," said Liang Zhongtang, a former expert with the National Population and Family Planning Commission and a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Earlier this February, the State Council set up guidelines to help poor families with one child in the rural area.

The guidelines suggested that qualified families living in poverty be covered by the rural subsistence allowance, and that rural nursing homes accept parents who have had only one child who is deceased or disabled.

Liang also told the Global Times that the country's family planning policy is not very tightly linked to the causes of poverty.

"But it is reasonable to help those families who lost their only child," Liang added.

The provincial government is also subsidizing rural families with one child or two girls in the new rural cooperative medical system.

In the past months, many provinces including Sichuan, Shaanxi and Guangdong have followed the guidelines and have begun supporting one-child rural families living in poverty.

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