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Too Short to Become a Teacher: Chinese Woman Disqualified from Getting her Teaching Certificate Because of Her Height

Chauncey Jung

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A remarkable conundrum has got Chinese social media users talking. A woman who studied for four years to become a teacher was denied her certification – she allegedly is 10 centimeters “too short” to become a teacher, according to height requirements established by the Shaanxi Ministry of Education.

News of a Chinese university student being barred from receiving her teaching certificate because of her height has become a topic of discussion on Chinese social media.

A female student named Li was recently disqualified from receiving her teaching certificate after a medical examination measured her height as 140cm (4.6ft), 10cm shorter the height requirement of 150cm (4.9ft), Shaanxi media outlet CNWest (西部网) reports.

The student studies at Shaanxi Normal University. “Not getting a teaching certification would mean the end of my career,” she told local reporters: “It would also go against the free education agreement I received when I entered the university.”

Li is given exemption on her tuition fees under the so-called ‘Future Teacher Scheme’ by the Chinese Ministry of Education – a special programme designed to cover the tuition costs of selected university students who commit to teach at local schools upon graduation.

If Li fails to acquire her teaching certificate, however, it would kill her future job prospects. According to the ‘Future Teacher Scheme’ agreement, students are required to pay back the costs of their university education if they do not become a teacher.

“If there is such a [height] requirement, why would they have accepted me as a student in the first place? My four-year-long efforts now turn into nothing,” Li said.

Since the issue made the news, Shaanxi Normal University responded to the issue, CNWest news reports. In a statement, the university said they were simply enforcing a 2009 provincial policy which stipulates that female applicants need to be taller than 150cm to qualify as a teacher.

The national Chinese laws on teaching, however, do not set any height requirements for teachers.

“This is discrimination. If this happened in the United States, she could get 300 million US Dollars’ worth of compensation,” some commenters responded on Weibo.

 

“If Deng Xiaoping were alive, he would fire the entire Shaanxi Bureau of Education.”

 

Local authorities told CNWest that exceptions on the height requirement policy are occasionally made; in 2012, for example, a student who did not meet the height requirement did obtain the teaching qualification.

Thanks to the heightened media attention on the issue, Shaanxi officials have since decided to make an exception for Li. They reportedly plan to remove the height restriction starting from next year.

The sudden change in policy, however, has not made commenters on social media less annoyed. “If Deng Xiaoping were alive, he would fire the entire Shaanxi Bureau of Education,” one user said. (Former Chinese communist leader Deng Xiaoping’s height is listed as 150cm/4.9ft).

There are many Weibo users who question the relation between a person’s height and their job a teacher: “If she is short, she can wear high heels. Does height really matter to become a teacher?”

It is not the first time that height discrimination in China makes the news. A 2015 Foreign Affairs report suggests that, despite being discriminatory, many employers in China insist on setting height requirements as a condition to employment.

The majority of netizens sympathize with Li: “This is hurtful. It is not easy to be short, why would this society make it more difficult for her?”

Other people wonder why appearances would be more important than one’s psyche: “They never have requirements when it comes to people’s morals and their mental health. It is disgusting to have these requirements for a person’s height.”

By Chauncey Jung

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Chauncey Jung is a China internet specialist who currently works for an Internet company based out of Beijing. Jung completed his BA and MA education in Canada (Univ. of Toronto & Queen's), and has a strong interest in Chinese trends, technology, economic developments and social issues.

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China Local News

World’s Largest Terminal: Spectacular Photos of Beijing’s New Airport

The city’s new international airport will be the biggest one in the world.

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Its opening is more than a year from now, but Beijing’s new international airport is already a spectacular sight.

Beijing’s new airport, that is expected to open in fall of 2019, is attracting some attention on Chinese social media lately as construction work on the major airport is speeding up.

A 7,200 tons and 404.5-meter-long roof was placed on the airport’s no.1 hangar earlier this week.

The airport is located in southern Beijing in Daxing (大兴区), and is expected to welcome some 72 million travelers per year in the future. The terminal area will cover some 700,000 square meter.

Photo of the upcoming airport posted on Weibo by @永定河孔雀城

According to Sina News, at most 8000 builders are working on the construction site at the same time.

The terminal building was designed by ADPI in collaboration with, amongst other consultants, Zaha Hadid Architects, who are known for their futuristic structures.

The airport is also called the “alien base” (外星人基地) by some netizens due to its extraordinary size and design.

Dozens of photos of the airport construction site are circulating on Weibo.

Photographer Chou Gui (@chougui17) posted a collection of various photos of the upcoming airport on their Weibo account.

Chinese state media propagate Beijing’s Daxing International Airport as being “100% China-made.” Located in the Daxing district of southern Beijing, it will become an important part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei city cluster.

You might also like to read: Real-Life Fairy Tale Landscape: Abandoned Fishing Village Houtouwan.

By Manya Koetse

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©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

Chongqing Man Throws Golden Retriever and Cat from 21st Floor

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A brutal case of pet killing has shocked Chinese social media users this week. On September 6, a man from the Shapingba district of Chongqing threw his golden retriever and a pregnant cat from the 21st floor of an apartment building. Both animals died.

Various Chinese media report that the man supposedly committed the cruel act after learning his wife was pregnant and not wanting her to keep pets in the house while expecting. After an argument with his wife, he allegedly threw the pets out of the window.

Shocked neighbors told reporters that the incident occurred around five o’clock on Thursday, when they heard a loud thump and found the animals on the pavement.

Some neighbours recognized the animals, as their own dog would play with the golden retriever. They called the pet owner, who said he no longer wanted anything to do with the dog and the cat. The neighbors, some crying, later gave the dog and cat a respectful burial.

On Weibo, the hashtag “Man Throws Dog and Cat from 21st Floor” (#男子21楼扔下一猫一狗#) was viewed almost three million times.

Animal cruelty often becomes a topic of debate on Weibo. One of the biggest social media trending cases of animal abuse of the past years is that of the dog Lion, who went missing in December of 2017 and was found by a woman named He Hengli who then blackmailed the dog’s owner over its release.

When the ‘hostage negotiations’ reached a deadlock, the dog’s owner finally went to He’s apartment to fetch her dog together with police offers and reporters. While they knocked the door, Lion was thrown to his death from He’s sixth story apartment.

The story of ‘Lion,’ who was killed by the person who held him ‘hostage’, went viral on Weibo in January 2018.

As in many cases in which animal cruelty has been exposed on social media, Lion’s killer became a target of the so-called ‘human flesh search engine,’ with people leaking her personal information online and threatening her at her workplace and home.

Such cases have previously even led to mob justice, with people dragging abusers out of their homes and beating them.

People often resort to this kind of ‘jungle justice’ because China currently has no laws preventing animal abuse. The voices calling for legal protection of animals in China have gotten louder over the past years.

“I just cannot understand these kinds of people’s way of thinking,” one commenter said: “They now throw a dog, what will they throw next time?”

“[If you no longer want your pets], you could just give them away, instead of cruelly throwing them to their death. Also – if someone would’ve walked there, they might have died, too,” others wrote.

Some write: “If someone mistreats an animal it’s a clear sign they’re abnormal maniacs,” with many others worrying about the future child of the pet killer: “He’s surely not fit to be a father.”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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What’s on Weibo provides social, cultural & historical insights into an ever-changing China. What’s on Weibo sheds light on China’s digital media landscape and brings the story behind the hashtag. This independent news site is managed by sinologist Manya Koetse. Contact info@whatsonweibo.com. ©2014-2018

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