May 20 and 21 are the test days of special talent for primary school graduates who are going to middle school this fall. Most student will be randomly assigned by computer to attend middle school near the location of their hukou. Taking special talent tests allows students who have talents to choose which middle school they want to study in.
This year, Beijing has 186 middle schools that accept special talented students, the admission of special talented students will take up 4 percent of all the students. Painting, playing instrument and calligraphy are accepted as special talents.
Beijing Youth Daily reporters found that before the test days, training centers started to hold classes to accelerate the skills of students. A nine-day instrument training class charged 15,000 yuan. Some classes even charged 500 hundred yuan for an hour’s training.
Parents said that different schools have their own focuses and requirements on talents. They believe that teachers in training centers are familiar with the rules and concentrations.
A teacher at a training center surnamed Zhou told reporters that the painting classes in the center started from May 2 to May 18. There were 20 students in the class. More students still come to join the class every day for a half-day training or a full-day training.
He Shiming, headmaster of Beijing Fengtai No.2 Middle School, said that they value students’ passion for arts, science and sports more than skills. Niu Xiaohua, the headmaster of Beijing No.2 Middle School also said that interest for a talent should be accumulated by students, not accelerated on purpose.