Businesses benefit from 'gaokao economy'

Updated: 2013-06-07 02:16

By Luo Wangshu in Chongqing, Wang Hongyi in Shanghai and Zhao Xinying in Beijing (China Daily)

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Booming business

Li Chang'an, a professor of public policy at the University of International Business and Economics, said that the gaokao economy has been heating up for the last few years, and predicted that it is unlikely to lose momentum in a short time.

One of the key factors driving the boom, he said, is China's family planning policy, which limits most parents to one child. This, coupled with the growth in personal wealth, means people are willing to spend more on study aids and hotels, all in the name of boosting their child's chances in the gaokao.

"Places at top schools and colleges in China are limited, so the competition is extremely tough," Li said.

Yet instead of putting further pressure on young minds, the professor suggested parents try to relax.

"For a child under a great deal of pressure, if they fail to do well, they may end up blaming themselves for letting down their parents, or even letting down society," Li said. "That could cause psychological trauma in that child".

Sun Feifei, a student counselor at Beijing Sanlitun No 1 Middle School, agreed that parents should not turn up the heat on their children, yet she added that the lucky charms available online may not be so bad a thing.

"Everyone is different," she said. "For some students these items may help relieve their anxiety. Others, though, could see these gifts as a sign their parents have high expectations.

"Generally speaking, the most effective way for parents to help their child relax before the gaokao is to make them feel that they will accept any result," said Sun, who has worked as a counselor for six years.

"Parents should focus on a child's efforts and what he or she has already accomplished at school, rather than put all the emphasis on one exam."