Preschool teachers an ignored lot

Updated: 2011-12-07 08:00

(China Daily)

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A kindergarten teacher in Shaanxi province recently burned 10 children with heated tongs because she was "emotionally disturbed", adding another violent example to scandals in preschools. Of course, the teacher should be called to account for her deed. But the authorities would do better to investigate the pressure she was under than merely subject her to moral condemnation, says an article in Beijing Times. Excerpts:

Most children in kindergartens are by nature curious and lack self-control. Teachers have to not only teach the tiny tots, but also take care of their other needs and maintain order in class. Since some children are naughty and some others stubborn, they can make life very difficult for teachers. In such pressing circumstances, a teacher can lose his/her temper.

The poor salary of teachers in kindergartens that children left behind by migrant workers attend adds to their woes. For example, a teacher with 28 years' working experience in a rural kindergarten gets only 300 yuan a month. Plus, such teachers are considered less professional than junior, middle or high school teachers - and seen even as nannies.

The fact is kindergarten teachers are under greater psychological pressure than other teachers.

The reason behind the problem is the lack of importance attached to preschool education. Preschools account for 9.5 percent of the students receiving general education in the country but get only 1.2 percent of the education funds.

More children could become victims of violence in kindergartens if the authorities do not increase education funds for preschools and give kindergarten teachers their due.