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China launches pilot university placement courses

Xinhua, March 19, 2014 Adjust font size:

A pilot project to improve placement courses in around 100 high schools nationwide began on Tuesday.

Dai Jiagan, deputy director of the Chinese Society of Education (CSE), said the Chinese Advance Placement courses (CAP) will give more choice to gifted and talented children.

The courses cover calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics, writing, english, physics and economics.

"The CAP will bridge the gap between university and high school," said Wang Dianjun, president of the middle school affiliated to Tsinghua University.

According to Wang, Chinese high schools have not connected well with higher education. As a result, universities select candidates only through college entrance exams, rather than through students' real academic performance and personal interests.

"Under the current system, excellent students, who account for 20 percent of the total, have to slow down their learning to that of the other 80 percent, and many even have to repeat what they've already learned," Dai stressed. "We should give gifted students more choice."

Dai said in China a dozen elite high schools and universities have hands together to develop CAP courses, but still lack unified standards on courses, teachers training and evaluation of students.

"We will organize a team to develop a CAP standard while launching the courses in 100 pilot schools," he said, adding that relevant textbooks would be ready by August.

The 100 chosen high schools will be announced later this year.

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