China Bans Harsh Punishments In Schools
China has banned school teachers from giving out any punishment that can lead to physical or mental trauma, after a series of student deaths related to severe punishment in recent years.
New rules issued by the Ministry of Education that were implemented from Monday prohibit harsh punishments at schools that humiliate students, as well as supporting the existing ban on physical punishment.
Those banned practices include beating, making students stand or kneel on the floor for hours, and verbal abuse.
Writing an apology letter or do classroom chores for minor wrongdoings such as forgetting to do their homework are now alternatives. However, students who commit more hard offenses like bullying may be terminated from school or recommended to undergo counseling.
China banned physical punishment in 1986, but implementation has been lenient, and parents often overlook the practice.
So far, no rules have been issued by the ministry to punish teachers who do not follow the rules.
Cases of children are regularly reported by Chinese media who have died after being hit by teachers or have committed suicides because of public humiliation at school.
A 10-year-old girl lost her life in the southwestern province of Sichuan after her maths teacher pulled her ears and hit her head for attempting two sums incorrect, reported by state news agency Xinhua in September.
Another case of death of a fifth-grade student was reported by China Daily in eastern Jiangsu province in June. She killed herself after being allegedly criticized on her essay by her teacher. According to the teacher, her essay lacked “positive vibes”. The teacher had allegedly slapped her and embarrassed and humiliated her in front of the class.
A new family education law prohibiting corporal punishment at home is expected when China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress, meets later this week.