A kindergarten teacher in China slapped a five-year-old girl 70 times over 10 minutes while another teacher lifted a boy by his ears, incidents that left a state-run Chinese daily worried over “the psychological impact of this abuse”.
An editorial in the Global Times said that several recent instances of violence in kindergartens have caused widespread worry.
A teacher in a kindergarten in Taiyuan, Shanxi province Oct 15 disciplined a five-year-old girl by slapping her across the face 70 times over a period of 10 minutes for an insignificant mistake.
Days later, a photo showed a boy being lifted off the ground by the ears by his teacher, Yan Yanhong, in a kindergarten in Wenling, Zhejiang province. The photo showed that Yan was amused at her horrific punishment of the child.
“The public reaction was incendiary, asking why this kind of abuse keeps on happening,” said the editorial, adding that physical punishment of kids has obviously violated teachers’ acceptable conduct.
According to Chinese law, teachers shall not discriminate against students, punish them physically, humiliate them or strip them of their dignity, nor shall they infringe upon the students’ rights.
The daily said that physical punishment will cause damage, even more so since Yan’s action seems to have been for fun. “These actions have seriously weakened the ethics of the entire profession.”
It wondered how these people can be allowed to work as kindergarten teachers.
“With the increasing of school costs caused by rising prices, privately funded kindergartens have gained growing support from authorities. This has allowed many unlicensed kindergartens to open, including the two schools involved,” it said.
The daily pointed out that these kindergartens lack any standardized management and are an unsafe environment for children.
“This is another blow to the education sector.
“Preschool education should be under the supervision of governments but these have been lacking in action. These are likely not the last abuse cases we will see, given the spate seen in recent years. Although the teachers concerned have been punished, these abuse cases keep rearing their ugly heads,” it said.
The editorial observed that children represent the future of the nation and “the psychological impact of this abuse will last for a long time”.