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Teachers need more protection: Ministry
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08:38, October 29, 2008

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The Ministry of Education has called on local governments, society and educators to play a more active role in protecting the safety of teachers.

The call follows the killing of two teachers by students this month in Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces.

"The safety of teachers and students are both important," Wang Dinghua, an official of the basic education department of the Ministry of Education, was quoted by Beijing Morning Post as saying yesterday.

"All government departments as well as social and educational workers should work together to guarantee the security of teachers," Wang said.

He said an amendment last month to the "Professional Ethics of Teachers in Primary and Secondary Schools" only stipulates the protection of students and not teachers, Wang said.

Teachers need to use legitimate and appropriate ways to let students see their own flaws, Wang said.

"At the same time, it is necessary to improve moral education and psychological conseling in primary and high schools to enhance the mental well-being of students," Wang said.

He said the attacks on the teachers could be used as examples of the lack of moral education and psychological conseling.

Li Ming, 16, of Suzhou No 2 Middle School in Shanxi stabbed his teacher Hao Xudong, 23, to death with a knife on Oct 4.

Li, whose parents were preparing to get divorced last month, wrote in his diary: "Nobody cares about me, I hate the society and teachers."

In the Zhejiang case, Ding Yutian, 16, strangled his teacher Pan Weixian, 31, when she visited his home on Oct 21.

Ding had played truant a day before and had spent the time at an Internet cafe.

He had been living with his grandparents after his parents got divorced several years ago.

Yan Wendong, a researcher at Henan Pingyu Teachers School, said mental health problems sometimes make young people taking extreme action.

"Good family education is an important factor to ensure healthy growth of the young," Yan said.

Figures from the Ministry of Health show the country has 340 million young people under the age of 17.

About 22 to 32 percent of primary and secondary school students have personality problems, it said.

Source: China Daily

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