Day today is creating a headache for Woody Zhu, a local kindergarten teacher.
As a new teacher, Zhu is worried about how to return gifts including
World Expo tickets, mooncakes and cash from parents after the kindergarten ruled
that teachers could not accept generous presents from students this
Some parents misunderstood her refusal as dissatisfaction and
replaced the gifts with even more luxurious ones. Some even topped up her SIM
card without her permission or gave her their gift and leave quickly, despite
Zhu is one of many teachers who reap a big harvest around
Teachers' Day. Some stores even see the day as a great promotional opportunity
to sell their goods.
According to an online survey, about 58 percent of
parents worry that teachers will be biased against their children if they don't
send gifts when most other parents do.
Only 26.6 percent of 4,000-plus
respondents to the China Youth Daily survey said they sent gifts to teachers out
of appreciation and recognition of their work.
Sixty-five percent said
that they expected the teachers to treat their children better after receiving
The Beijing Evening News reported that an unruly boy was made
class monitor after his father sent a 1,000 yuan (US$147) watch to his
The price of gifts to teachers has kept rising and a luxury trip
to Japan and jewelry and cosmetics are among favorite choices.
gift-sending behavior is an actually a bribe to teachers who have power," said
Cao Jingxing, a Chinese commentator and TV host. He said a card and a letter
from students would make the teachers feel appreciated, but the gift-sending
custom had now become a burden for parents, who worried that teachers would
treat their children badly if their gifts were too cheap.
Stone Gong, the
mother of an eight-year-old girl, has spent hundreds of yuan to send gifts to
teachers every year since the girl was in kindergarten. She said: "Thinking
about a suitable gift to teachers is always a headache."
In the survey,
about 62 percent people said they would support the education authorities
putting forward regulations to ban gifts.