Zhang Ming: Why Our Students Squeal on Their Teachers

China Media Project translates a commentary by Zhang Ming, originally posted in Southern Metropolis News, about the changing relationship between students and teachers in China:

Cases of students ratting out their teachers seem to be on the rise in China in recent years. Almost invariably, the teachers have done nothing wrong. Rather, they have said something wrong, something the right people believe to be politically unacceptable. It’s no longer very exceptional to see a teacher’s career impacted by accusations from their students, and nearly every university has had its cases. In less severe instances, a teacher’s course may be suspended. In more severe instances, the teacher may be tossed right out of the school or university.

So much more welcome would it be if students focussed their accusations on real and serious abuses. China’s universities play host to all sorts of unethical conduct by teachers and professors, including bribe taking and harassment of female students. Unfortunately, in the rare cases where students do report other real abuses, these are generally brushed aside by university bureaucrats, and the ugly fact is that in the vast majority of cases in which teachers are targeted, this has to do with something the teacher dared to say.

And this culture of political tattling has unfortunate consequences for education in our country.

December 15, 2010 3:39 PM
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