Chinese authorities have recently discovered an unusual practice among some top Chinese schools in which even parents of the applying students are being forced to take exams.
According to the Telegraph, the tests have the parents proving their intellectual capacity and ancestor’s academic credentials. At one school, parents are even checked to see if they are overweight.
“They check parent’s body shapes,” a parent whose child is applying to Shanghai’s Qibao Foreign Language School complained, according to a social media post by thepaper.cn.
The reason? Allegedly, fat parents “display poor self-management skills.”
Education authorities have called out Qingpu World Foreign Language School and Yangpu Primary School in Shanghai for the unnecessary logic exams and intrusive surveys that probed into family histories. It also chastised the third school for reportedly having a “fat parent” criteria.
Shanghaiist reports that parents were given a questionnaire and a sheet of logic puzzles while waiting in line at the Yangpu Primary School. There was even a time limit to complete the quiz. At Qingpu World Foreign Language School, parents were given questionnaires asking them about their education level as well as their parents’ highest education level.
According to Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, both Qingpu and Yangpu schools had been ordered to “apologize in public” and to “cut down enrollment plans next year.”
Qingpu posted a statement on its website, apologizing for the exams. adding that “negative social impacts were caused because of our ignorance of regulatory requirements.” On the other hand, Yangpu claimed that the tests were merely aimed at “relaxing” parents and not actually related to the enrollment procedure.
While most of the test-takers complained about the difficulty of the “graphics-based reasoning” on Chinese social media, some of them expressed that they are okay with such exams.
“Just like some schools in other countries require parents to be Christian, I think the requirements from these private schools are reasonable,” a mother of an enrollee was quoted by the Global Times.