Wednesday, 01. April 2015
05. 06. 14. - 16:00
A Chinese school has become a place of pilgrimage for anxious parents and children who come to pray before it in the belief that such devotion helps pupils pass a crucial university entrance exam.
The school has an outstanding academic record. But that has merely translated into superstition and hocus-pocus among locals who believe that the school, which also has a huge "tree of knowledge" that stands inside the grounds, has magical powers to make children excel in tests.
The school in Maotanchang town in East China's Anhui province. The school has earned a reputation as a "Gaokao Mill" for its success in preparing a large number of students to pass the national college entrance exam.
Gaokao is short for The National Higher Education Entrance Examination and a student’s score on this all-important standardised test is pretty much the only thing that matters when it comes to determining whether or not they can go to universities - and if they can, what institute they can attend.
Many of the students from Maotanchang get accepted into prestigious Chinese universities, including Beijing and Fudan, by doing well in the tests.
The tree inside the school has become much revered. "Many parents believe that praying to the tree will bring luck and high test scores to their children. On the first and fifteenth day of each month in the lunar calendar, the tree is surrounded by anxious people who have children or relatives preparing for the Gaokao exam," said teacher Yong Lu.
In 2013, the school had 10,000 senior students take the Gaokao. Since parents usually accompany their children from rural areas to the town when they prepare for the exam, the high school has created numerous job opportunities in the local area as families need places to eat and stay. The local government also has adopted a policy to "promote economic growth through further developing the high school".
People wave incense as they wait to pray for students' success in the college entrance exam around the tree.
Teacher Yong added; "I think it is all mumbo jumbo but who cares? I say it is down to our good teaching but whether it comes from a tree or swotting up, the fact is we are one of the best."
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Uncle Hung Boy From Fence As Punishment|
|Four Needles In Teens Body Including One In Heart|
|Baby Kangaroo In Pouch Found To Be Albino|
|Shoes That Change Colour And Pattern Using App|
|Bad Boys As Drunk Men Behave Badly In Kindergarten|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.