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'Mind your language', education ministry draft advises teachers

(China Daily)

13:20, December 14, 2011

BEIJING - The Ministry of Education has published a series of professional standards for teachers in kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools, including a ban on harsh language and words that might belittle students.

The draft standards also ask teachers to effectively communicate with their students and establish good teacher-student relationships.

The standards place special emphasis on teachers' moral performance and ethics, according to a statement on the ministry's website on Tuesday.

Under the standards, teachers should always be student-oriented, regard the lives and safety of their students as their top priority and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with possible emergencies.

The standards for primary school teachers require them to protect students' interests and encourage their curiosity.

For middle school teachers, the standards require them to encourage students to think independently and promote the students' ability for innovation.

Once put into effect, the standards will be used to educate teachers and provide a fundamental guideline for their professional development, the ministry's statement said.

The standards will also be used as criteria for the teachers' hiring, training and assessment, the statement said.

According to the statement, a draft of the standards was started in 2004. The writers gathered the opinion of more than 1,000 experts and school and kindergarten principals and teachers, and they made many revisions.

The public is invited to comment on the standards in letters and e-mails, which will be accepted until Dec. 30.

China issued a code of ethics for primary and middle school teachers in 2008, asking teachers to "take care of their students' safety".

The code was created after heated public debate about teacher performance, which was triggered by Fan Meizhong, a middle school teacher in Southwest China's Sichuan province. Fan ran to save his own life when an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan county on May 12, 2008, leaving his students behind in the classroom.

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