With university entrance exams (known as the gaokao) approaching fast, Chinese high school students know that every second counts. At a school in the Hubei province, studious teenagers have found a rather unusual way of avoiding fatigue and keeping their heads buried in their textbooks.
According to the head teacher
, students preparing the university entrance exams are allowed to go to the school infirmary and get a dose of amino acids, which is administered through a drip for half a day. The aim is to improve their physical strength and keep their stress under control. But some students are so busy cramming that they don’t have time to go and get this vitamin infusion. With the consent of their parents, they have asked to be given the intravenous drip whilst sitting at their desks in their classrooms. Almost half of the final-year students have requested this.
Ministry of Education officials in Hubei claimed that they were only recently made aware of this practice and would launch an enquiry. Health specialists have suggested that there’s no proof that amino acids help students during the exam period, and that giving injections in the classroom increases the chance of infections and thus poses serious risks for students.