School heads fired for asking pupils to bring own desks

Beijing, Jan 7: The heads of three schools in China lost their jobs after the government found they had asked students to buy their own chairs and classroom desks.

The Chuanxi High School, Dayuan Primary School in Huangpo township and Zhongxin Primary School in Zhenwen township, all in Wuchuan city in Guangdong province, had asked students to purchase their own chairs and desks, the China Daily reported Monday.

After a government investigation, the heads of the three schools, whose names were not revealed, were removed from their posts.

By the weekend, Wuchuan city equipped all local primary and high schools with an ample number of chairs and desks.

Parents who bought chairs and desks for their children have been told to take the furniture home.

Lin Yehan, principal of a primary school in Fengkai county in Guangdong, said the government provides up to 160 yuan ($25) per student for office expenses every school term. “That’s enough to buy new chairs and desks.”

Liu Jianfu, a researcher with the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, said the school chiefs should be ashamed of their actions.

“According to law, education is free for all primary and middle school children and they do not need to pay any tuition, let alone purchase chairs,” he said.

Wuchuan, with a population of more than a million, ranks at the bottom among cities in Guangdong, measured by GDP and residents’ income.