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Teachers tested to raise ethical standards

2012-11-16 10:52 Global Times     Web Editor: Gu Liping comment

A new examination system in Zhejiang Province aimed at evaluating teachers' professional ethics, initiated in response in part to a recent child abuse case, has parents calling for a specific standard on what constitutes inappropriate punishment of pupils.

The Zhejiang provincial education department announced Tuesday it is soliciting public opinion from students, parents and communities through a questionnaire. The assessment will focus on teachers in primary and secondary schools and kindergartens,

"This has been initiated by the recent increase in abuse incidents in kindergartens and the serious moral problems among teachers in children's education," Chen Changlong, an official from the Zhejiang provincial education department, told the Global Times.

The assessment will deal with teachers' classroom performance and examine whether they have resorted to punishment or discriminated against certain children. It will also look at whether they had made inappropriate profits from their professions.

Many parents said it is natural for parents and teachers to have different concepts on what constitutes abuse and the lack of a specific standard will affect effective evaluation, the Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News reported.

Parents listed many confusing cases. A teacher who orders a student to stand in class for ten minutes may be considered as giving physical punishment by parents, while the teacher will think it helps them learn to concentrate in class, reported the local newspaper.

"Communication between teachers and parents is helpful in making an accurate judgment on whether there is physical punishment," Chu Zhaohui, a researcher from the China National Institute for Educational Research, told the Global Times, adding that parent committees should be promoted in schools and kindergartens.

Chu pointed out that abuse incidents are always caused by teachers who have faulty professional ethics and the ultimate way of preventing abuse is to help teachers build a correct moral standard. "The best way is to provide moral training to new teachers and to give strict examination on qualification certificate," he said

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