The recent news that the strict Hengshui High School in North China's Hebei province founded a branch in East China's Zhejiang province has inspired heated debate.
The middle school has been criticized as an "exam factory" because of its intense focus on the national college entrance examination, known as the gaokou, and cram-style education.
Chen Zhiwen, chief editor of www.eol.cn, China's biggest educational portal website, defended the school in an article for Science and Technology Daily. Here are some of his responses to the critics.
As far as I know, the renowned schools in the west are even tougher than the so-called militarized management of Hengshui High School. It is some experts who are misleading the public in China with the romantic vision of children playing their way to success in the "happiness education" system in the west.
The middle school is not to blame for the exam-oriented education as long as the gaokao remains the gateway to a better future for millions of students. It's an illustration of the educational utilitarianism of today's China.
Quality-oriented education is hard to fulfill as the criteria for college recruitment changes prompting educators to adjust their training courses accordingly.
The multiple-criteria appraisal system to recruit students for colleges relies heavily on family background and, thus, is not currently feasible.
Gaokao remains the fairest system under which unprivileged students can fight for a better future with their diligence.
In this respect, Hengshui High School has the merit of promoting social mobility and fairness.