The days of students being admonished for chewing gum at the back of the classroom could be over.
Although chewing gum is banned in Chinese classrooms, a new report by the Chinese Psychological Society says chewing gum helps students concentrate.
"Chewing can help people improve their concentration span as it can boost the number of red blood cells in the brain by up to 28 percent," said Mei Jian, an expert with the society, citing research carried out at Kyushu University in Japan.
"In some countries students are given chewing gum by the school authorities prior to major exams to relieve stress and increase concentration. Chinese schools should do the same."
He also said that chewing gum had already become a common practice among athletes as it kept them calm and concentrated before their events.
The Chinese Psychological Society and China Youth Concern Committee jointly launched a survey on the ability of middle school and university students in eight major cities to concentrate. They found that only 39.7 percent could maintain their concentration on a teacher's lecture for more than 30 minutes.