Hard cell: Chinese vocational school’s clean-up campaign draws comparison with prison life

  • School in Henan says discipline is important part of education
  • ‘Is this a prison cell or dormitory room?’ one internet user asks
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 8:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2018, 12:48pm

Rules at a vocational school in central Henan province which forbid students to take meals to their rooms and demand they must empty their bins every morning drew comparisons with prison life after they were revealed online.

“Children today resent labour and boycott necessary discipline,” Xinxiang Vocational and Technical College said on its Weibo account. “Some with their own agenda arbitrarily misinterpret [the rules] and spread rumours. What becomes of our next generation if schools and teachers stop disciplining children?”

Internet users questioned the rules made public by a student in a video posted online: beds must be made, the sheets must be clean and nothing other than quilts and pillows were permitted.

Student inspection teams carry out cleanliness spot checks for rubbish and nothing, not even a strand of hair, was allowed to lie in bins after morning classes started, the video said.

Pupils who took meals into their dorms would lose credit, and power to their rooms could be cut. Students were not allowed to stay in their dorms during class hours or in study periods at night.

“Is this a prison cell or dormitory room?” one internet user asked after watching the video.

“These strange rules would indeed make the dormitory clean, but fail to consider the interests of students,” another said.

In response to reaction online, the college said it was staging a clean-up campaign to improve the living environment and some department managers might hand out punishments that went beyond school rules for infractions.

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Students should empty their bins before going to class in the morning and rooms would be inspected, the school said. Banning meals from dorms meant leftovers or packaging were no longer a problem.

Department managers might enforce power cuts in dorms where repeat hygiene offenders were bunked, it said.