BEIJING, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Education issued a circular Thursday, urging primary and high schools not to evaluate teachers performances by their student's passing rates at entry examinations.
Passing rate has long been the decisive factor in judging school quality and teacher competency, which often resulted in teachers taking up students' free time for extra lessons and assigning large amounts of homework to achieve better exam scores.
According to a report released last June by the Hebei Youth Daily, a primary school student named Liu Yuan (name changed) was beaten on the neck by his teacher Li Lanju for his poor math score. Li was then suspended from his post.
Experts said the country's exam-oriented education system tends to neglect the cultivation of a well-rounded personality while teacher performance is evaluated strictly by exam grades.
Instead of focusing on talented students, schools should guide teachers to pay equal attention to every pupil, especially those with learning or emotional disabilities.
While schools have the final say on the work assessment, opinions from students and parents should also be incorporated into the whole evaluation, said the circular.
The circular also advised that teachers' evaluations be based on the students' demonstrated mastery of the teacher's specific subject as opposed to a standardized test. For example, a physical education teacher might be evaluated on the fitness of his students.
Currently, the ministry is collecting public opinion for an unprecedented 12-year education reform and development plan. The plan is said to be a very complicated project involving the whole of society.
A report on the draft plan, made by the ministry, said the Chinese government should give priority to education. It also said that the country will promote educational equality, relieve primary students from homework burdens and provide better salaries to teachers.
Last October, the China Youth Daily and major Internet portal Tencent conducted an online survey regarding a quality teaching. More than 7,000 respondents chose "concern for students," "being a role model" and "respecting and loving one's work" as the most important and basic moral qualities of teachers.