Planet China

Guess who?

Many graduates may recall missing the odd lecture during their university days, perhaps from over-imbibing the night before.

However, at one Chinese university the cutting of classes is such a problem that it has come up with an ingenious method to combat absenteeism. The Beijing Youth Daily reports that the Graduate School of Law at Nankai University began an exam paper with the question: who is the teacher that taught you Civil Procedure Law this semester? It then showed photos of four teachers. A footnote to the question added that failure to answer correctly would lead to 41 points being deducted. “If any student fails to recognise the teacher, he will fail this exam,” Beijing Youth Daily predicted (the passing mark in China is set at 60).

When news of the exam paper got out, netizens thought it a great way to punish truant students. The deputy dean of the university explained it was the brainchild of a newly recruited teacher: “He wanted to kindly remind students not to cut classes, so he designed this question.”

For the Southern Metropolis Daily the “amazing question” reflects the “embarrassing reality of frequent absenteeism among students, so that they do not know their teacher, and the teacher does not know his students”.

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