Guideline issued to strengthen teachers' ethics

Updated: 2013-09-04 02:44

By Zhao Xinying (China Daily)

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A guideline on strengthening teachers' ethics and morality was released on Tuesday, following recent scandals that revealed some teachers' immoral or illegal behavior.

Drafted by the Ministry of Education, the guideline aims to establish a mechanism to prevent teachers from breaching professional ethics.

The guideline said teachers are subject to supervision from school officials, students and parents, and those who violate ethics and morality will be punished or dismissed.

Xu Tao, a senior official with the Ministry of Education, said a detailed regulation on teachers' ethics and morality is still on the way and may be announced by the end of the month.

Imposing corporal punishment on students in any form, as well as running cram schools beyond regular lessons, will be forbidden, Xu said.

Platforms will also be set up by educational departments at all levels to receive complaints about alleged immoral or illegal behavior, Xu said.

"Teachers who are accused will be punished if their misbehavior is confirmed," he said.

The release of the guidelines came after several scandals in which students were sexually assaulted by principals and teachers at primary or middle schools.

In May, Chen Zaipeng, the principal of a primary school in Wanning, Hainan province, was arrested on suspicion of raping four sixth-grade students. He was convicted of the crime in June and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Yang Qifa, 59, the principal of a primary school in Qianshan, Anhui province, was convicted in June of sexually assaulting nine students from the first to fourth grades and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Earlier, Shenzhen and Jiangning district in Nanjing said teachers who commit sexual assaults or violate professional ethics will be blacklisted and never be allowed to teach again.

Song Yanhui, an associate professor of teenagers' studies with the China Youth University for Political Sciences, suggested the education authority should not rely on ethics only.

"Laws, as well as some other methods, are just as important," she said.

Liu Yiran contributed to this story.