Students take home pork as an award at Zhiliao Primary School in Sanjiang county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Friday. Those who scored over 80 in their Chinese and math final exams were awarded 1 kilogram of pork. The prize has been popular. (Photo/China News Service)
An innovative practice of rewarding students at a Chinese primary school with bags of pork has garnered praise from netizens.
Previously, outstanding students at Zhiliao Primary School in Sanjiang county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, received award certificates, notebooks or even cash at the end of the semester.
However, the students were most excited about the pork prize, which was given for the first time this year.
Fifty-three students from first to fifth grade who scored more than 80 points on their Chinese and math final exams were rewarded not only with paper certificates but also with 1 kilogram of pork.
The practice, designed to motivate students and help guardians focus on children's academic performance, was warmly welcomed by low-income families, according to Yang Zaizhang, dean of the school.
At home with their guardians, the children were praised for the delicious pork earned through their hard work at school. Of the 178 students at the school, 90 percent don't live with their parents, who work in bigger cities.
"We can tell from the families' response that pork is a more effective reward for achieving the effect we want to see," Yang said.
In the past, some students spent their cash prizes without telling their guardians.
Wu Shigang was delighted to see the meat brought home by his grandson, Wu Lyudong, whose father died and whose mother abandoned the family.
The boy shared fried pork with his grandparents.
"My grandson will never forget this. This new idea is pretty good," Wu Shigang said.
The idea began when a woman surnamed Yang, who was born in Zhiliao village and works in Beijing, raised 2,927 yuan ($443) to fund the students' reward. Nearly half the fund was used to buy pork from poor local pig farmers.