In yet another story out of China about the relationship between teachers and pupils, a 12-year-old Chinese boy has had eye surgery after his teacher allegedly told his classmates to slap him on the face.
The boy, who has not been named, lives in Zhengzhou in China’s Henan province. The teacher was angry that the boy had not done his homework. As a punishment he received 40 slaps to the face from his fellow pupils.
And, to add insult to injury (so to speak), the teacher even told the pupils that the the boy administering the loudest slap would get a prize.
The boy said from his hospital bed, “After being slapped, the teacher then made me do push-ups and did not allow me to eat lunch.”
Later that night he realized that his vision had been affected as he couldn’t see properly out of his left eye.
The boy’s mother said, “I didn’t know the damage was so severe. The doctor told me my child’s eye might not be cured.” She added that the school had given the family 30,000 yuan ($4500) in compensation. However, after the cost of the operation, they were left with nothing.
It has been reported that the teacher who ordered the slapping allegedly claimed that punishing the children helps them to progress.
Tradition in the Chinese education system demands that pupils defer to authority and they are put under pressure to obey instructions and conform to a strict code of discipline.
In October 2013, the West China City News reported that a 10-year-old boy jumped 30 floors to his death on the orders of his teacher, after he failed to complete an assigned task.
The teacher had allegedly told the pupil to jump out of the building because he did not write an apology he had been asked to do in class. Later, a note was discovered in one of his books saying: “Teacher, I can’t do it” and “I flinched several times when I tried to jump from the building.”
Whilst teachers in western societies may envy the discipline of the Chinese educational system, there is a price to pay.
That price is usually paid by the pupils.