The Education Ministry said Sunday that the proportion of enrolled pupils with special talent will be gradually reduced in admission to junior middle schools.
The proportion of enrolled talented pupils approved by education departments at the provincial levels will be scaled down below five percent by the end of 2016, according to a new admission rule unveiled by the ministry.
"The admission rule in favor of talented students has laid a heavy burden on our children," an unidentified official with the ministry said, adding it contradicted the principle of compulsory education which advocates all-round development for students.
China's nine-year compulsory education system covers primary school and another three years of junior middle school. No entrance tests are required for admission and students are assigned to schools according to where they live.
In reality, however, students who excel in certain subjects or display talents related to maths, music or sports can sometimes obtain entrance to higher-tier middle schools regardless of where they live.
The education authorities had banned enrollment based on scores of Olympic-style math competitions, the content of which is far more complicated than that taught at primary schools.
"Information about admission to every junior middle school will be made public to ensure students' equal right to education," said the official.