Chinese students are burdened by a heavy academic workload, an education authority inspection of primary and junior high schools across ten provinces has found.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) inspected nine-year compulsory education in Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces.
The ministry found, for instance, school hours, particularly time allocated for maths and Chinese classes, exceeded permitted lengths. However, school hours spent on art and physical education were limited. Some schools failed to carry out the "one hour physical exercise per day" requirement.
Some junior high school pupils complained to inspectors about an excessive amount of written assignments and exercises. Inspectors found some boarding schools required students to get up at 5 a.m. and some organized weekend classes.
The MOE also warned schools against publicizing students' grade rankings and organizing entrance exams for enrollment.
The ministry ordered certain schools to correct their improper conduct and said it will be tougher with schools with similar problems.