What green scarves stand for?

What green scarves stand for?

A primary school in northwest China has sparked quite a controversy making some students as misbehaved or poor academic performers wear green scarves.

The school, First Experimental Primary School in Weiyang district in the city of Xi'an, issued green scarves to students who they said needed to improve their grades or behavior. Other students wore red scarves, which is the uniform norm for primary school students throughout China. 

Parents whose children were given green scarves did not understand the reason behind the school's measure and thought it was inappropriate to make some pupils wear green scarves. Netizens bombarded the school's decision with sharp criticisms, although a few did sympathize with it, saying incentive systems are sometimes necessary. 

What green scarves stand for?

What green scarves stand for?

@Sina Commentary, Comment Channel of Sina.com

If we say "red scarves" represent a part of our national flag, what do those "green scarves" stand for? In a context where a distorted education system prevails, the "green scarves" are just a token of the alienation of education. When will those slapdash educational officials show some respect for humanity and common sense? 

What green scarves stand for?

@Caixin.cn

Forcing children to wear "green scarves" would do great harm to their self-esteem. It is the evil caused by the extreme utilitarianism of Chinese education: a very unfair, oversimplified and shortsighted method of educational evaluation. Additionally, it totally goes against the basic educational principle of treating every student as equal.

What green scarves stand for?

@Langdanke, Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs at Beijing Consumers' Association

We have been so accustomed to leaders deciding everything at their discretion, without any consideration for rules and laws. As long as an idea is brought forward by a leader, you have to praise it as an incredible innovation, which may actually be total rubbish, because the person whose idea you are commenting on decides your future. It is time to change. We should allow more people to express different opinions. The leader should be the decision-maker, but not the only one. Thus, they will have less power, and as a result, less delusion. 

What green scarves stand for?

@Tiankewu, Deputy Executive Editor-in-Chief of Beijing Youth Daily

I believe the teachers were well-intentioned. They did this just because of a lack of knowledge of educational rules and children's psychology. I don't want many people to hate teachers, but I do want teachers to have more knowledge to be qualified. Only when parents, teachers and children collaborate can we achieve the real goal of education. 

What green scarves stand for?

@Caolin, Commentator at China Youth Daily

Though I am not with "green scarves" idea, the torrent of disapproval reminds me of thinking where the boundary of educational punishment lies. The public now seem to oppose any form of punishment for students, especially for young pupils. As long as a school or a teacher dishes out punishment, whether it is just common verbal criticism or light physical punishment as a warning, the school or the teacher is sure to censured. Many teachers talked to me that the general public's overprotection of students and their children makes them confused about how to educate them.

What green scarves stand for?

The school eventually buckled under mounting public pressure and called an end to the pratice, which lasted for no more than a week.

Whether the move was well-intended - as the school claimed, it was meant to to prod the underperforming students into catching up with better performing ones - or not is not important or even relevant now. The more pressing need now is perhaps to find out the deeper issues underlying China's education system. Unless they are addressed, it won't be long before we see other colored scarves again.