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UPDATED: July 7, 2014 NO. 28 JULY 10, 2014
How Should We Reward a Hero?


Liu Yanbing is a senior middle school student in south China's Jiangxi Province, who was on track to take this year's June college entrance examination. On May 31, a man wielding a kitchen knife began to attack passengers on the bus he took from Yichun City to Jinrui Town, ultimately injuring five people. Liu risked his life to subdue the attacker and grabbed the knife to prevent more injuries. Unfortunately, Liu's head and shoulders were extensively cut. Due to the heavy injuries, Liu missed this year's college entrance examination, or gaokao, which is considered a major turning point in a student's future.

Liu's brave deed has been greatly lauded. Education authorities in Jiangxi Province organized a separate college entrance exam for him and another injured student in the incident. Two local universities have already extended an olive branch, offering spots at their schools. Even China's prestigious Tsinghua University has given Liu the chance to attend the university's independent recruitment program if his grades from the catch-up exam reach his hometown's first standard score.

However, the question stands: Should any student of any talent who performs a heroic act be rewarded with special placement in the nation's most competitive universities?

Zhu Xiaolong (www.szgm.edu.cn): The olive branches offered by these colleges show society's respect of the student's feat, and people hope he will be rewarded for his great deed. However, he may need time to relax and get back to a normal mindset. Liu is undoubtedly in a complicated state; he hopes that a good university will recruit him because of academic capability, not because of his actions.

Even if he is helped into a university due to his exemplary heroic deeds, not his educational achievements alone, is this not still acceptable?

In recent years, all-round education has been extensively promoted by academic authorities, with morality being an important part of the overall schooling system. A student of high virtue will bring glory and respect to any university that recruits him.

Of course, any student may also reserve the right to refuse the offers from these universities. Liu has the right to decline help and take part in a fair gaokao. Even if he can only attend a common university, he can still feel confident and comfortable with his decision. Either way, he has done the right thing.

Deng Haijian (www.people.cn): This student's heroic deed is extremely valuable when shone against today's moral backdrop. Traditional standards are facing challenges and many unethical things, including stabbings, are happening around us. At this moment, more heroic feats and role models are sorely needed.

When principled, noble traits win respect and rewards, this will in turn encourage more people to follow suit, thus positively impacting society as a whole. In some other countries, a heightened sense of ethic is already listed among the merits to be considered when a university enrolls new students. Give Liu a chance to take the college entrance examination separately and let him be a victor for his heroic deed, not a victim.

Xu Qizhi (Hebei Daily): The aim of higher education lies not only in the imparting of knowledge, but in the making of responsible citizens in society. While most students sit quietly in classrooms, taking the annual college entrance examination based solely on knowledge, on that bus Liu Yanbing took an entirely different test on morality.

Chinese society needs more good Samaritans like Liu, who are willing to risk their own lives for the safety of others. Offer help, and maybe you'll be helped the next time you are in need. The positive impact of Liu's heroic deed is immeasurable.

Education authorities have already arranged a separate examination for Liu, which not only takes some of the stress off of him but garners public approval. Meanwhile, several universities have extended offers, which are a confirmation of his performance in moral aptitude. All the praises and rewards Liu is receiving show society's appreciation for justice and order.

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