BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- An ongoing public survey has shown that almost 80 percent of Chinese want the abolition of a bonus points policy for some candidates taking the annual National College Entrance Examination (NCEE).
The controversial bonus points policy allows candidates to receive additional points to raise their NCEE results, which can be decisive for enrolment at colleges and universities.
Different provinces and autonomous regions apply different criteria in implementing the policy.
For instance, a candidate who qualifies as a national second-class athlete can receive 20 bonus points on their actual NCEE scores, and those who are awarded a provincial-level title of outstanding student or student leader can receive at least 10 additional points.
Ethnic minority groups are also eligible for additional points or for preferential admission consideration over candidates of the Han ethnicity, the majority of the people in China.
Public complaints about the policy have surged since candidates were caught lying about their ethnic status or "buying" an outstanding student title or second-class athlete certificate.
The survey was initiated by minyi.net.cn, a leading public opinion site run by the China Youth Daily newspaper, after the central government invited public opinions on a draft of the National Outline for Medium and Long-Term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) published Monday.
About 77 percent of 3,602 respondents interviewed in the survey opposed any system of bonus points for college admission and just 9.8 percent approved of such a system.
The education reform outline has stirred debate over the bonus points policy in the run-up to the annual session of China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, which is slated to open Friday.
Every summer, about 10 million Chinese sit the annual NCEE, which is widely regarded as a make-or-break event in their lives.
In China, performance in the NCEE, or "Gao Kao" in Chinese, is a prerequisite and decisive requirement for entrance into almost all higher education institutions.
Many describe the NCEE as "thousands of people on a single-log bridge" because of the increasing numbers of candidates and proportionately fewer college and university places.
Last year, for instance, 10.2 million people sat the NCEE to compete for 6.29 million seats in China's universities and colleges.
The latest draft of the education reform outline also proposes to introduce diversified channels for colleges and universities to enroll students rather than using the NCEE results exclusively.
Enrollment through recommendations by high school principals, and instiutions' own exams will be considered, according to the draft.