73,400 students register for the gaokao; 650,000 sweep tombs
The front page top headline of the Beijing Morning Post, April 3: “In Beijing, 73,400 people registered for the gaokao (the national college entrance exam).” This represents a decline in registrants, down from 76,000 last year. The article predicted, however, that university admissions would remain stable: that is around 80% of gaokao candidates would get a place at a university.
According to regulations of the Beijing Education Commission, only those who have an official Beijing hukou (residence permit) may sit the exam in Beijing. People from outside Beijing who recently received official Beijing-residency status must have received their status before December 5, 2011 to qualify.
The large photo just below the headline refers to a different story altogether: gridlock traffic on the Beijing-Hong Kong Macao expressway (京港澳高速) near Beijing during short national holiday for Qingming, the tomb-sweeping festival that took place last week.
Continuing down the page, another headline notes that 650 thousand people participated in traditional tomb-sweeping festival activities such as paying respect to ancestor graves or offering small sacrifices in the form of paper money or paper iPads and Ferraris. The article says this is a decline of 7% from last year. The article does not cite where these figures came from.
Finally, a passenger plane flying from eastern Siberia crashed, killing 31 people and injuring 12. There were no Chinese citizens on the plane. The photo shows a rescue team and investigation squad at the crash site.