Parents of kids attending a middle school in Qingdao, east China's Shandong province, complained because the school appointed a physical education instructor as the head teacher.
The authorities quickly responded. On Friday, at a news conference in Beijing, the Ministry of Education commented on the issue, saying that every enrolled teacher in a legal school has qualifications and their differences lie only in the subjects they teach. They also expressed the hope that the appointment of a PE teacher as head teacher would be understood and supported by more parents.
That is the correct attitude. All teachers must pass exams and interviews before securing a teaching job. Teachers just specialize in different subjects. Based on their experience as teachers, head teachers not only teach their specialized subject, but also provide vision and leadership for other teachers and keep classes running smoothly. The school clearly feels the teacher concerned has the necessary experience and attributes to fulfill the role.
At the news conference, the ministry also said that more attention will be paid to PE lessons, and the subject will gradually be given as much importance as Chinese language or math. It specified that in the examinations for high schools, the points for PE lessons will gradually rise to be the same as the so-called main subjects, Chinese language, math, and English.
It is a good move to pay more attention to PE as it is of importance for children's health. However, if the policymakers mean to raise its points to the same as Chinese language and math, they should do so step by step so that parents accept it.
The high school entrance examination means to select those with more academic potential for higher education in the future, so although PE is important, it is an investment for future health. But its importance can be embodied in ways other than increasing its exam points, such as by arranging more PE classes in school.