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Teachers' Day is not meant to shower gifts
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Not very long ago students paid their true respects to teachers on Teachers' Day. But today that respect has taken the shape of lavish gifts. Though there is still no need to abolish Teachers' Day, we have to fight the corrupting tendency of seeking privileges, says an article in Rednet.cn. Excerpt:

Giving token gifts to teachers on Teachers' Day to show respect and express gratefulness is not a bad thing. But students should not use lavish gifts to "bribe" their teachers to seek their favor.

Many teachers tend to accord priority to students who bestow them with generous gifts. Considering the importance of the relation between Teachers' Day-gifts and their children's future, parents compete with each other to shower teachers with precious presents.

Many parents blame Teachers' Day (and the gifts presented) for the souring of their children's relations with teachers. In fact, students now give gifts to their teachers whenever they want to in order to please them.

The true significance of Teachers' Day is not giving or accepting gifts. It is a day when students should show special respect to their teachers and appreciate their long-lasting contributions. So we have to fight against the tendency of seeking privilege.

There should be strict restrictions on the value of a gift. If teachers accept too expensive a gift, they should be punished for taking a bribe. And students' parents, too, should be punished for showering expensive gifts on teachers.

We have to create a clean environment in schools because dirty dealings seem to have become the order of the day in educational institutions. Only by cleansing the schools can we hope to see a fair and healthy atmosphere in institutions of higher learning, and the wider society beyond.

(China Daily September 11, 2009)

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