Jail for Chinese man who rang exam bell too earlyTuesday 30 October 2012 13.08
A man in central China has been sentenced to a year in jail for ringing a bell to end a national college entrance exam too early.
Xiao Yulong, 54, admitted having rung the bell at the school in the province of Hunan four minutes and 48 seconds early "by mistake" on 8 June.
This meant 1,050 students had to hand in their exams before they were required to do so, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
A court sentenced Xiao for negligence.
The incident led to thousands of students and parents gathering "multiple times" at the school and the local education bureau to demand that the government investigate, it said.
The agency said Xiao was also given a one-year reprieve by the court, which means he may serve either very little or no time inside.
"Xiao was careless in his work and mistakenly rang the bell too early, resulting in adverse social impact," the report added, citing a court statement.
The national college entrance exam is a fiercely competitive test in which high school students battle for a limited number of university spaces, in country which sets great store on education as a means to social advancement.