Hotel deals, exam nannies for China's gaokao candidates

BEIJING • An array of services has sprung up to ensure Chinese students are well taken care of in the run-up to the national college entrance exams, or gaokao.

The services range from special hotel packages to live-in gaokao nannies, according to news website Sixth Tone.

Exam nannies is a relatively new phenomenon in Chinese cities, according to local media. Most of these nannies are highly educated students or recent graduates who would move in with their clients to study with them.

One of the nannies is undergraduate Zhao Yong, who is from a top university in Shanghai. According to Hong Kong's Oriental Daily, he is paid 300 yuan (S$62) a day as an exam nanny.

He said the parents are too busy and hired him to keep the student company during the stressful period. His main tasks include chatting with the client and staying up with him during the overnight cram sessions.

Shanghai-based Saima Domestic Services told Sixth Tone there has been an increased demand for highly educated exam nannies from parents in recent years. But these nannies tend to have weak cooking and cleaning skills, says a Saima employee.

Hotels near exam centres are also in great demand, reported Chinese media. Many hotels have offered special gaokao packages to cash in on the exam fever.

Many Chinese parents are willing to spend on hotel accommodation or short-term leases in apartments near the test centres so that their children can save time on travelling.

The college entrance exams are held over several days, and the exam centres are usually located far away from the students' schools and homes.

Some netizens have expressed concern that students these days are too pampered. One social media user says that it is pointless making it to the universities if the students are not equipped with basic life skills.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2016, with the headline 'Hotel deals, exam nannies for candidates'. Print Edition | Subscribe