Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign
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Many schools in China charge extra fees to make up budget shortfalls. Photo: Xinhua

NewNo gifts for the teachers: China puts corruption in schools under scrutiny

Graft authorities target gift-giving to teachers and the illegal charging of extra fees, among other corrupt practices in the education sector

Chinese authorities will target gift-giving to teachers, illegal charging of extra fees and embezzlement in the education sector as part of China's corruption crackdown, the country's top graft watchdog said on Tuesday.

President Xi Jinping has embarked on a sweeping campaign against corruption since 2012, pursuing high-ranking "tigers" as well as lowly "flies" in the government.

While tuition is free in the nine years of compulsory education, many schools charge extra fees to make up budget shortfalls, and parents sometimes give teachers gifts to curry favour with them.

In a joint statement with the education and finance ministries among other departments, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said teachers had a responsibility not to abuse their positions for profit.

"For orders not followed, bans not enforced and behaviour that runs contrary to discipline, cases will be discovered, investigated, exposed and found out," it said.

Teachers are forbidden from accepting invitations to banquets and holding "extra classes against the rules", it added.

Such rules are already supposed to be in place, according to the CCDI.

Education is a particularly sensitive topic on the mainland because of the traditional importance parents put on schooling as well as intense competition among students for a limited number of university places.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Graft in schools comes under scrutiny