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Is receiving gifts a corrupt act for teachers?

By liu5222512 (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-09 16:24

Today I chatted with my colleague.

"Have you ever sent some gifts to your child’s teacher", he asked.

"Never once", I answered firmly.

Then I spoke highly of the school principal’s management skill.

First, in his speech on the school’s opening day he declared that he would do his best to stop parents from sending gifts to teachers. Afterward, he told a story of gift-giving that happened on Teacher’s Day.

He said some parents send a teacher one flower, some a bunch of flowers, and some a basket of flowers. And the wealth gap would inevitably bring some negative impacts to the children’s souls. He strongly appealed to our parents not to give gifts to teachers to safeguard the pure and naïve hearts of students. He won parents’ support with loud and warm applause when his speech was finished.

Soon after the second week since the new term began, I received an anonymous questionnaire letter from the school. "Does your child’s teacher receive gifts? Does your child like her teacher?" were among the questions on it. Then I said to my wife promptly that it seemed that the principal did not just talk the talk, he is fulfilling his promise to prevent gift giving from happening through these practical actions and supervision.

As soon as I finished my talk, it unexpectly incurred strong opposition from my colleague. He said all schoolmasters would say that, but if you really don’t send any gifts to the teacher, that just proves what a total idiot you are. He burst out his reply quickly without any hesitation, and I am not convinced by what he said. Then he mentioned the principal’s supervision plan, and said parents would not answer, ‘I do send gifts to the teacher’ in a questionnaire when he actually did that. And if you want to tell the truth in the questionnaire, you’d better not send gifts on behalf of your child. For the schoolmaster and his teacher would know the answer from your questionnaire when your child handed it over to the teachers. Then what you have done would be all in vain, you can just get the opposite to what you wish, it is not good to tell the truth.

When I was thinking about this, he then told a story about a child of his good friend:

The student’s academic record ranks top in his class and he abides by the school rules and disciplines, his parent do what they can to be in harmony with his head teacher, in every aspect, they do very well, but his child never win the honorary title of ‘all-around good student’. Then he try to figure out why. Finally, he attributes the consequence to that the only thing they have not done is not to send gifts to his teacher.

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