More than two dozen education officials in China have been punished for a series of math textbook drawings that portrayed the country’s children as “ugly.”
China takes punitive action against officials over ‘ugly’ illustrations in school textbook
More than two dozen education officials in China have been punished for a series of math textbook drawings that, according to an investigation, portrayed the country’s children as “ugly.” According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Education on August 22, 27 officials from the state-owned publisher were reprimanded or fired for illustrations that had “fallen short of the fundamental requirements of moral education.”
The Ministry, in a statement, said, “The overall style of the illustrations do not conform to the aesthetic tastes of the public. Some illustrated characters are ugly, show poor spirit and style, and do not reflect a positive image of our nation’s children.”worldtimeshindi.com
In May, drawings of students with small eyes in People’s Education Press primary school books sparked outrage on Chinese social media. Moreover, the apparent depiction of male genitalia on boys’ pants, as well as children wearing clothing with stars and stripes, was interpreted as pro-American by Chinese social media users.
The largest textbook publisher in the nation apologised in public on its official WeChat account in May after being told to redesign its materials for the semester that begins in September.
To increase patriotism among its youth, China has tightened control over its textbooks and curriculum in recent years. People’s Education Press published the mathematics books nearly ten years ago, and they were reportedly used in elementary schools across the country. However, they went viral in May after a teacher shared photos of the illustrations inside.
CCP orders review to ensure textbooks adhere to correct political direction
Many social media users were amused by the illustrations, but many also condemned them as bringing disrepute and “cultural annihilation” to China, speculating that they were the deliberate work of western infiltrators in the education sector.
As a result of the massive exposure of related hashtags, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and educational authorities faced embarrassment and announced a review of all textbooks “to ensure that the textbooks adhere to the correct political direction and value orientation.”
The country’s education authorities said in a lengthy statement released on Monday that 27 people were found to have “ignored their duties and responsibilities” and were punished, including the chief of the publishing house, who was given formal demerits, which can affect a party member’s standing and future employment.Additionally, the chief editor and the director of the editing office for the math department received demerits and were fired from their positions.