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China Education Idle

Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China 90

An anonymous reader writes Parents in China's Zhejiang province can give their own blood to earn some extra points on their child's high school entrance exam. Four liters of donated blood will get your child one extra point; 6 liters adds two points; and 8 liters, three. From the article: "The policy burst into the national limelight this week, when a Weibo user posted a photo of a bandaged arm, saying, 'For my future child, I say one thing: Relax when you take the high school entrance exam. Your dad's already helped you gain points.' The post was widely shared. Though the user declined to be interviewed by China Real Time, he also clarified his original post, saying that he had in fact been giving blood since age 18."
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Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

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  • Make it on your own.

  • by itsenrique ( 846636 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @11:04AM (#48019477)
    Man that's a lot of blood.
    • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @11:06AM (#48019497) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, most people don't even have that much blood.

    • by weszz ( 710261 )

      It's not THAT much, I give at work when the blood center comes around, so they have me down as 35 donations since 2005, I know some of them were double reds, but even if all of them were one pint only, that's still only 16.5 liters, or a bit over 4 gallons.

      given time it adds up quickly.

      • Re:4-8 LITERS?! (Score:4, Informative)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @12:16PM (#48020067)

        ... 16.5 liters, or a bit over 4 gallons.

        I got you beat. Last year I made my 80th donation, and was admitted into the ten gallon club. the Red Cross gave me a FREE T-SHIRT to prove it. Anyway, China has a big problem recruiting blood donors. There is a strong cultural taboo about losing blood. Even in America, where hospitals try to match patients with donors by ethnicity, there is a big shortage of Asian blood. My wife is Chinese, and she objected to me donating blood, insisting it would shorten my life, until I showed her that there was plenty of evidence that donating blood is good for you [health.com] and may lengthen your life.

        • Re:4-8 LITERS?! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by quantumghost ( 1052586 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @01:43PM (#48020815) Journal

          ... 16.5 liters, or a bit over 4 gallons.

          I got you beat. Last year I made my 80th donation, and was admitted into the ten gallon club. the Red Cross gave me a FREE T-SHIRT to prove it. Anyway, China has a big problem recruiting blood donors. There is a strong cultural taboo about losing blood. Even in America, where hospitals try to match patients with donors by ethnicity, there is a big shortage of Asian blood. My wife is Chinese, and she objected to me donating blood, insisting it would shorten my life, until I showed her that there was plenty of evidence that donating blood is good for you [health.com] and may lengthen your life.

          Ummm.... I work in a hospital and order blood fairly regularly for my patient population. There is no way to specify the "ethnicity" of blood [nih.gov]. Blood is "typed" [wikipedia.org] for major antigen (A,B,O) and "crossed" for minor antigen or factors (Rh, Duffy, Lewis, Kell, MNS, P, Hh, XK, Etc). Now, different "ethnicities" have different distributions of antigens [bloodbook.com] which may make it more likely that someone of the same ethnicity matches, but no-one transfuses "ethnic-specific" blood.

          And for the record the typical human has about 80 cc/kg of blood (e.g. the "mythical" 70 kg (154 lb) adult has about 5600mL (5.9qts ~1.5 gal) of blood).

        • And for some it prevents a very bad disease [wikipedia.org] so I can help myself as well as help others since while not having it I have numbers that aren't far off.
    • Split between 2 parents that is 2-4 litres each. Since blood can be donated every 56 days it would take 4-8 months to donate the maximum. It's not really that difficult

    • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gmai l . c om> on Monday September 29, 2014 @12:54PM (#48020385) Journal

      Keep in mind these are asians we're talking about, and according to their action movies and cartoons, they have about 10 gallons of blood stored under high pressure :-P

  • That takes helicopter parenting to a whole new level...
  • we'll make sure your kid gets to go to college.

  • Question... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 29, 2014 @11:17AM (#48019589)

    Does it have to be your own blood?

  • Is that their culture only allows 1 child, usually male, and that kid is doted on. Of course there is way to much incentive and doting on that one child. Creating the little emperor syndrome (google it) and now we have a government exploiting this. But most likely all this extra donated blood will probably go to waste.

    Unless China is ruled by vampires. Which I doubt.

  • I expect to hear mysterious reports from China of vampire attacks, as thousands of students inexplicably get 24 Credits and graduate. On the good news; blood shortage solved. The drained husks lying in the street won't be getting transfusions.

  • It's interesting that they had to clarify that parents may only give their own blood.
  • How many points do you get to donate a kidney?
  • by methano ( 519830 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @11:22AM (#48019649)
    I've given about 90+ pints over the years. Too bad my kids are out of college. I guess I'm not in China either. Maybe we could institute some Social Security points so that I could retire earlier.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A new library wing or gymnasium that just got the generous $20,000 donation will easily get your student accepted into a university regardless of their exam scores.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @11:35AM (#48019765) Journal

    > Four liters of donated blood will get your child one extra point; 6 liters adds two points; and 8 liters, three.

    That's significant if the scores go to 36, like the ACT test. If the max score is 2400, like the SAT, an extra point or three hardly matters.

  • It's easy to poke fun at this, but maybe it's not so silly.

    How much is a "point" worth? (What is the point scale?) If it's a 100-point scale, this might push somebody over the line by a half-grade (in our typical U.S. grading system).

    If the parent gives blood as a result, it might mean that they are a good citizen looking out for the welfare of everyone, and that they are concerned about their child's future. This would seem positive for the child's education. If a child is teetering on the edge of some gra

    • by turp182 ( 1020263 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @11:46AM (#48019845) Journal

      It's a slippery slope (because of all the blood).

      If it is used to "predict future results" then the conversation may become "We need your parents to give X units of blood for you to get an A on the upcoming test."

      • It's a slippery slope (because of all the blood).

        All slippery slope arguments do is stop something that might be good now because they might lead to something bad in the future. The problem with slippery slope arguments is that they rely on the idea that something bad will "inevitability" happen. The bad things are not inevitable. They can be stopped before they happen while allowing the good things to go forward. "Don't do something good now because something similar but bad may happen in the future" is not a valid argument.

        • Exactly. In order to fix a slippery-slope argument, and make it into a valid argument, you need to show:

          1) That the final result could occur
          2) That the final result would occur.

          If you don't show both of those, then all you have is a logical fallacy.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            I would agree with you, but history shows that by the time 1) and 2) are shown to be true, they already happened, and usually at the same time. Then good luck reversing it.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          All slippery slope arguments do is stop something that might be good now because they might lead to something bad in the future.

          They also provide a warning that letting the camel's nose in the tent is a bad idea -- but the question "How will bad people exploit this, and how much of that can be reasonably prevented?" is not a slippery slope question, it's a basic question for any business or profession ever.

    • by danlip ( 737336 )

      Although perhaps the child with the least supportive family who needs the most help, e.g. affirmative action. Isn't China supposed to be communist?

    • If a child is teetering on the edge of some grade category or entrance requirement, then who's to say this isn't as valid as knowledge testing.

      Well, I will certainly say it. Your point is absurd. How does a parent giving blood assess the capability of a child in a way comparable to an academic test?

      But we also do have some tradition of giving some little "extra credit" or recognition for community participation - e.g. clubs and activities, etc. for entrance to college, or to some selective schools, etc. How is this that much different? Yea, it's about the parent, not the child, but I think it is seen as more of a family unit.

      No, I don't think it is. It's entirely possible that one child of a family will be Harvard-worthy, and the other totally useless. Not to mention that a hard-working individual from an unambitious family absolutely shouldn't be held back by that.

      (I'm not fond of this trend of judging candidates on their hobbies, though. I've overheard someone being corre

      • by jtara ( 133429 )

        | Your point is absurd. How does a parent giving blood assess the capability of a child in a way comparable to an academic test?

        It demonstrates supportive parents. This probably correlates with the student future success in school. It demonstrates a willingness and desire to advance.

        | It's entirely possible that one child of a family will be Harvard-worthy, and the other totally useless. Not to mention that a hard-working individual from an unambitious family absolutely shouldn't be held back by that.

        That's

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Well, the problem is it takes advantage of the educational system and gives a reward for donating.

      The problem is in Asia, there is a strong fixation on "the big test". The one that determines your future - do you score high enough that you can CAN go to university, or are stuck doing a trade, or even worse, labourer?

      (No, I don't think there's anything wrong with the trades, but in Asia, a plumber or electrician is seen as a lower level of prestige than an office worker).

      It's why there is a high rate of teen

    • To those people, every point seems to matter. [telegraph.co.uk] They'll apparently do absolutely anything...because everyone else does it too! (Well, that's free market to you and me.)
  • Maybe not donating blood for high scroll age, but challenging and substantial social service. If you are at least familiar with a variety of ways to contribute, even if you are only doing it to get points, it's more beneficial to educate you than someone who is not. You will remember these lessons when you are in your 40s and have more free time and empathy.

    • by Jiro ( 131519 )

      We have this in the US, in practice; social service volunteering looks good on your college resume, and plenty of teenagers do it solely to get into a better college. It also works horribly because it is richer people who are better able to volunteer, since rich teenagers have more spare time to do social services in, and greater access to transportation to get to the social services.

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )

        I would say that rich people especially need to be introduced to social services, including due to more spare time and greater access to transportation, but most of all more resources to invest in a cause. As long as it's substantial work like working in soup kitchen for a year every Saturday, I don't see the problem with them getting the credit.

        • by Jiro ( 131519 )

          The point is that volunteering for a soup kitchen is something that only rich people get a chance to do. A poor person has other things to do--part time job, for instance, or taking care of the family's children while parents are out (or their own children if a teenage single mother). A poor person who doesn't live close enough also has a hard time getting transportation to get to the soup kitchen; not everyone has parents who can drive them, and bus fare costs money that matters for a poor person.

          • by iamacat ( 583406 )

            There are also a number of programs to prioritize admission and scholarship for students who are disadvantaged individually or as a group. Maybe they needs to be more, but at some point we can not deny someone's achievements just because there are some other people who didn't have chance to pursue them.

  • To put it in perspective, the Red Cross mandates that you can only donate a half-liter of blood every eight weeks. The adult human body only has about five liters of blood in it.

    • So that's just 16 half-liter donations, which spaced out every 8 weeks takes less than 2.5 years. There's plenty of time for Dad to donate that much between when he learns his wife is pregnant and when that kid needs to enter high school. (Plenty more if Mom donates, too.)

      The big problem, as in everywhere else, is that paying for blood attracts donors with bad blood (literally), some of which will escape testing and get into the supply. "Thanks to the blood for grades program, China now has enough blood

  • by dingleberrie ( 545813 ) on Monday September 29, 2014 @12:38PM (#48020247)

    Finally! A form of bribery that almost anyone can afford.

    • Really? Rich guys would enlist others to donate blood in their names.

      During the Civil War the Confederates instituted the draft and conscripted their citizens. The rich people paid 300$ to make someone else (usually people who had already served their draft) enlist on their behalf. I think there was one case of one enterprising Southerner who enlisted several dozen times (and then deserting at the first opportunity).

  • Good! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 29, 2014 @01:37PM (#48020773)

    Hi all,

    Medical student here. Two points:

    1) This happens in the USA as well; my upper division undergraduate biology courses ALL offered extra credit in exchange for blood donation (or proof of rejection by blood collection centers), though in this case by the students themselves. For minors, substituting donation by the parents makes sense.
    2) There is a desperate need for blood donation. Blood substitutes don't work nearly as well as the real thing. As with organ donations, there is far more demand than supply. It saves lives.

    Personally, I think the net effect is positive. Linking an important but undervalued action (blood donation) to a highly valued outcome (university admission scores) makes sense.
    With the caveat that the execution is well thought out - eg, easy access to donation such as on-site donation drive timed with normal parent activities; award of points to students who can document their inability to donate or parents' unwillingness to donate, with documentation no more onerous to obtain than donation; limiting of effect on score to be more symbolic than a strong determinant of admissions; other things that further consideration would bring out.

    I see some highly moderated comments on here building up straw men and then knocking them down. Good job guys.
    "Slippery slope" - yeah, it's the name of a logical fallacy for a reason.

  • The amount of guilt a parent will be able to lay on a kid in China? I gave my blood for you!
  • All bleeding-heartism aside, when will academics actually be about academics?

  • Slightly tongue in cheek comment, but who knows when it comes to the Chinese! I am guessing they are really looking to use all the blood to offset some of their energy needs by using some sort of technology like this: http://electronics.howstuffwor... [howstuffworks.com] Almost the Matrix in real life:)
    • by danlip ( 737336 )

      If you want to turn people into energy the most efficient thing is probably to just have them pedal bikes hooked to generators. Blood powered batteries would be great for medical implants but not much else. And the Matrix was just plain silly.

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