Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
In his office, Principal Lü's face was very serious. This was his second year at the sports school. As a new principal who had come out of the blue, his days in the beginning weren't that agreeable. These last two years he had been trying to get used to the environment and cultivate his own teams. He finally had some kind of control over the whole situation.
Many people thought that there was no pressure on the sports school when it came to proportion of students who were able to get into the advanced school. They thought working at the sports school was very relaxing. However, Principal Lü had realized after just one year that it was not as easy as those on the outside looking in thought.
The sports school used to be one of the best. Although it was just a technical secondary school, it used to ensure job assignment for graduates up until the 90s. During that time, technical secondary school used to be people's first choice, even when compared to high schools. Like technical secondary school, places like medical schools were for the best students with excellent grades, since they allocated jobs for students without fail. The sports school had been the best among them. People didn't get enough protein during that time. Instead of nutrition, people worried more about how they could avoid suffering from starvation. In that era, people who were admitted to sports school were those with truly extraordinary physiques.
As time went on, the job assignment system was canceled. But the sports school was still the most popular choice because of the food allowance. For the people who came from poor areas, it was very attractive that the school covered their food expenses. Twenty years ago, when the number of students who were able to get admission to advanced schools was still limited, college students were especially rare and precious. Normal people could still get a decent job with a secondary technical school degree.
With the expansion of high school enrollment, it got easier for people to be admitted to colleges. This made it harder for the sports school to survive. Many bachelor and even masters students couldn't find a job. A student from a secondary technical sports school could not get anything but labor work. Parents expected their children to have decent jobs and not just be just labor workers, especially when they had tried everything to help their children get a higher education. Coupled with the improvement of people's lives, nobody would go to the sports school and ruin their future just for the food.
As this was happening, the disadvantages of the sports school as a secondary technical school began to become apparent. As opposed to normal high schools, students from secondary technical schools couldn't take the college entrance exam. The only way to get their degrees was to take higher education self-study examinations. This kind of degree was given by the country, but that was it. It didn't really help when job hunting.
This was why the quality of students who signed up for the sports school had dropped and were not achieving as much. There were many sports-oriented talented students, but they weren't sent to the sports school because their parents didn't want to send them. Cultural education was the best of the best. From the parents' perspective, it was better if their children didn't learn anything in college than going to a sports school.
Because of this situation, sports schools nationwide were all pushed into a corner. Famous schools who cultivated top-level athletes were better off because they got more financial help from the government. People who worked in schools like the sports school in Yuzhou City, which no one knew, were just muddling through life by collecting their salary and satisfying their appetite.
However, Principal Lü wouldn't just muddle through his life with his new promotion—he was eager to show his abilities. That was why he brought the case up to corporate with high schools to cultivate sports talent students. On the one hand, they could make money from it. On the other hand, and more importantly, they could make their school famous.
In his office, Principal Lü held a document in his hand that was the notice of the national athletes' exam. Director Shouren Zhao behaved himself in front of Principal Lü, and acted like he was listening to the leader's speech.
Lü cleared his throat and said, "The exam for national athletes is about to start. It's a normal activity. But this year, your tasks are greater. It's not only about taking students from our school to the exam, but also the students from our summer training class. How's the 100m sprint training class going? How many people do you think could get the national second-class athletes qualifications?"
"The training is coming to the end. According to our internal evaluation, at least 1/3 of the students are able to reach the standard. Some of the students are around the passing line. If they perform well, they might be able to pass too," Shouren Zhao said.
"1/3 is not enough. At least half of the students should pass. Then we are talking. That could make our training class more convincing, and make all the high schools believe that we have the ability to improve sports talent students. It would make them willing to hand the students to us." Principal Lü stopped for a second and continued, "Besides that, I received very important information. For this exam, the chief examiner, Coach Yuejin Chen, has been sent by the provincial administration from the provincial sports university. He is a very strict and impartial person."
"Coach Yuejin Chen? The one who trained many national athletes? He is the top track and field coach inside our province." Obviously Shouren Zhao had heard of him before.
"Yes, that's him. What's more important, he has one slot open for two provincial sports universities, which means he could choose two students taking the exam." Principal Lü changed his tone and continued, "We should get at least one of these two admissions to sports universities!"
"So you are saying we should ask the students from summer training class to go for one of the admissions?" Shouren Zhao asked.
"Yes. It's a very important move for our sports school. If we could get one of the admissions to the sports university, it could prove to the society that we have the ability to cultivate college students even though we are just a secondary technical school! And if the high schools in our city know that one of our students got the admission, they would be more willing to work with us," Principal Lü said.
Shouren Zhao hesitated because he couldn't promise it and didn't answer immediately, which made Principal Lü feel very anxious. He rolled his eyes and changed the topic.
"Last semester, one of our old vice presidents retired, so we have a vacancy now. The people from administrations asked for my opinions about the candidate for vice president. Although I think experience matters a lot, the ability and achievements are also very important. Director Zhao, I have very high expectations for you. But you have to work harder and make some achievements too. Then you can convince the other people. And I would have a better reason to recommend you."
Although the principal didn't say it explicitly, Shouren Zhao understood what he meant. Whether or not he could meet the quota of the independent enrollment or not mattered for his promotion to vice principal.
Considering that, Shouren Zhao said immediately, "Don't worry, I'll take the responsibility of the summer training class. We are meeting the quota of the independent enrollment!"
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