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When Parental Pressure Literally Becomes Too Much: Anxious Parents Make School Gates Collapse

There was so much pressure from the parents that the school gates came down.

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A remarkable incident occurred on April 22nd in Shandong’s Liaochang, where parents were waiting outside a private primary school for their children to finish their school entry interviews.

The parents, eager to find out how their children performed, were leaning at the school gate to get in when the entire gate suddenly collapsed, causing a chaotic scene.

It is generally believed that children’s educational future is decided as early as getting admitted to that one kindergarten or primary school, which adds to the stress among Chinese parents to get their child into the school of their choice; academic pressure starts from an early age.

China’s private education sector is flourishing. Depending on the school, there is often a wide variety of private classes and after-school activities and full-time or parttime boarding-school options. These private schools, such as the one in Liaochang, often have a strict selection procedure, including interviews with prospective students – as young as they may be.

In this case, the school had not anticipated the crowd and chaos during the interview procedures. Because of the sea of people, parents were unable to reach their children inside the school building. Eventually, the school had to bring all children to the more spacious playground so that their parents could collect them from there.

Although this incident is a rare example of parental pressure at school, it is not uncommon for Chinese parents to be so anxious to know about their children’s academic performance that they will go to extremes.

During the first day of school, dozens of parents often stand outside the school windows to catch a glimpse of their child; a post about this phenomenon went viral on Weibo last year when it said that: “If you spot these kinds of people near a preschool today, there’s no need to worry about them. They’re not bad people, they’re no kidnappers, it’s just that their child has their first day of school.”

The phenomenon of Chinese parents who cannot say goodbye to their schoolgoing children does not just occur outside kindergartens. In 2016, the so-called ‘tents of love’ (爱心帐篷) became a hot topic on Chinese social media.

When students have their first day at college, parents who come from far will often travel along with their children and spent the first days sleeping in tents outside the school. They do this to give their children both emotional and practical support, but perhaps more so to soothe their own separation anxiety.

“tents of love”: parents set up their tents at university campus to support their child.

About the Liaochang incident, some people on Weibo comment: “It must be so difficult for children to go to school and having to deal with their parents!”

Our video on this topic below:

By Manya Koetse and Miranda Barnes

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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Miranda Barnes is a Chinese blogger and part-time translator with a strong interest in Chinese media and culture. Born in Shenyang, she used to work and live in Beijing and is now based in London. On www.abearandapig.com she shares news of her travels around Europe and Asia with her husband.

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    winona

    May 13, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    *shudders* smothering behaviour is already established as “love” in chinese and korean culture. this kind of behaviour really reminds me of those infuriating hello counsellor episodes. the one about a brother obsessed with his sister, and a wife who is stalked by her violent husband.

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China Insight

Exchange Student to Be Deported from China for Harassing Young Woman at University

An exchange student studying at the Hebei University of Engineering has been expelled and will soon be deported after harassing a female student.

Manya Koetse

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An exchange student from Pakistan who was studying at the Hebei University of Engineering (河北工程大学) has been expelled and detained after harassing a female student at the same university.

The incident, that is attracting much attention on Chinese social media this week, adds to the wave of recent controversies over the behavior and status of overseas students in mainland China.

On July 31, a female student at the Hebei university filed a police report against a Pakistani student who allegedly harassed her and attempted to forcefully kiss her and touch her breasts.

Screenshots of a supposed WeChat conversation between the exchange student and the female student, in which the man apologizes and claims the interaction is a “requirement for friendship,” are being shared on social media.

According to various reports, the police initially tried to mediate between the two students, which the female student refused.

Together with the school principal, the police then further investigated the case and found ample evidence of harassment after examining the university’s surveillance system.

On August 1st, the Hebei University of Engineering announced that they had expelled the student and that he will be deported from China. The announcement received more than 14,000 reactions and 150,000 ‘likes’ on Weibo.

The student is now detained at the local Public Security Bureau and is awaiting his deportation.

A photo of two officers together with a man in front of the detention center in Handan is circulating on social media in relation to this incident.

At time of writing, the hashtag page “Exchange Student to Be Deported after Molesting Female Student” (#留学生猥亵女学生将被遣送出境#) has been viewed over 310 million times on Weibo.

Among thousands of reactions, there are many who praise the Hebei university for supporting the female student after she reported the exchange student to the police.

“This may not be the best university, but at least they stand behind their students!”, some say, with others calling the university “awesome.”

Many say that the Hebei university should serve as an example for other Chinese universities to follow, with Shandong University being specifically mentioned by Weibo users.

Shandong University was widely criticized earlier this summer for its “buddy exchange program,” which was accused of being a way to arrange Chinese “girlfriends” for male foreign students.

Another incident that is mentioned in relation to this trending story is that of an exchange student who displayed aggressive behavior towards a Chinese police officer in July of this year. The student was not punished for his actions, which sparked anger on Chinese social media.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 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

Holiday Homework: Take a Picture with Five Foreigners

Is “take a photo with a foreigner” an appropriate homework assignment? This Zhuhai school teacher thinks it is.

Manya Koetse

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Photo via yidianzixun.com

An elementary school in Guangdong’s Zhuhai city has become a target of online banter this week for a special holiday homework assignment given to its pupils.

The school’s English teacher told students to take a picture with five foreigners this holiday. The pupils’ parents were not too happy with this ‘homework’ and questioned its purpose and validity.

In the eyes of many netizens, the assignment is inappropriate as it supposedly teaches pupils to look up to (or ‘worship’) foreigners.

Others think the assignment is simply not practical, saying that Zhuhai does not have that many foreigners walking around and that not all foreigners speak English.

With over 110 million views on the hashtag “Holiday Homework to Take Photo with Five Foreigners” (#暑假作业与五个外国人合影#), the topic has blown up on Weibo.

“Just take a photo with the neighbor and tell them they’re from Singapore,” some people suggested: “Take some photos with Chinese people and say they were from South Korea!”

In an online poll about the issue, initiated by China Daily, nearly 65% of respondents said they did not agree with the assignment.

The school principal responded to the controversy, saying that the assignment was an “optional” one.

The class head also stated that the assignment was not obligatory, but that it was merely meant as an “encouragement” so that students could practice their conversational English by having a short conversation with a foreigner.

Many commenters side with school and condemn all the criticism and banter: “Of course an English teacher would want to tell its pupils to interact with foreigners in English!”

Another person mentions that many Chinese students have high grades in their English exams without actually being able to hold a conversation in English: “Our English education is not focused enough on speaking English.”

“This teaches students to take the initiative to start a conversation in English, what’s not good about it? You’re all too sensitive!”

By Manya Koetse , with contributions from Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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