China launches campaign to fight key issues including campus bullying in basic education

Updated: May 14, 2024 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- China has launched a nationwide campaign to address key issues such as campus bullying and excessive homework in basic education.

According to a circular made public by the Ministry of Education on Tuesday, the campaign will continue until the end of this year and will primarily focus on regulating and rectifying problems related to safety breaches, disorder in daily management, and faculty misconduct.

The circular also outlines a detailed list of 12 negative practices in basic education. These include encroachment on students' scheduled ten-minute breaks, neglect and tolerating of bullying behavior, and compulsory education institutions organizing various exams with the intention of selecting students.

Other prohibited activities include concealing or mishandling significant accidents, discriminating against students from vulnerable groups, subjecting students to corporal punishment, or engaging in unauthorized fee charging.

The Ministry of Education has instructed local authorities to refine the negative list, conduct self-inspections, and implement corrective measures.

Additionally, the authorities will advance the campaign through various means, such as conducting research across different cities and counties, appointing inspectors to supervise schools, and providing professional guidance.

To ensure effective enforcement, a supervision and exposure mechanism, as well as a reputation evaluation system, will be established during the campaign.

China is home to nearly 500,000 primary and middle schools and kindergartens, with over 16 million teachers and 230 million students. Its education system faces disparities in urban-rural and regional development, leading to notable variations in school management levels across different areas.

Shi Zhongying, head of the Institute of Education at Tsinghua University, noted that the 12 prohibited behaviors outlined in the circular are not new policies or requirements, but rather a reminder of the minimum standards. The objective is to raise awareness and ensure that school faculty uphold and adhere to these standards.

The campaign will have a positive impact on improving the governance and capacity of basic education in the new era, as well as optimizing the overall ecosystem of the education sector, Shi said.

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