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'Coward teacher' deprived of certificate
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Fan Meizhong, nicknamed Fan Paopao by netizens who condemn his escape in the May 12 quake, defends himself saying he would sacrifice everything, including his mother's life, for his survival. [File Photo: New Express]

China's education authorities have revoked the teaching certificate of a "coward teacher" who left his students behind as he escaped during the May 12 quake. He later defended his behavior which triggered heated disputes on the Internet.

The Guangya School in hard-hit Dujiangyan, southwestern Sichuan Province, was instructed by the local education administration to sack Fan Meizhong, reported Guangzhou-based New Express, quoting online sources.

The report said the firing followed a notice issued by the Education Ministry that declined to confirm the teacher was dismissed for his actions on May 12.

Fan said he got a phone call from the school on June 11 telling him his contract had been cancelled.

The Chinese language teacher said he had prepared to face the consequences of his words, but will still sue the authorities because there is no regulation stipulating a teacher must risk his life to save students in emergencies.

Many Chinese netizens opened fire on Fan after he wrote a post on his blog on May 22 saying he would only consider his own safety during a calamity.

Reportedly, Fan took off right after the quake hit, without caring for the safety of his students. He later claimed that he would even sacrifice his mother's life for his survival, resulting in people calling for his dismissal.

Many people, including Fan's colleagues, said he had lost the moral right to be a teacher.

(CRI June 16, 2008)

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