AFTER REMAINING unchanged for almost 20 years, revised regulations on the awards and punishments for primary and middle school students come into effect in Beijing on Feb 26. Beijing News commented on Thursday:
One notable change is that schools must guarantee students' right to appeal any punishments imposed by their schools.
Hopefully, this will put an end to the helplessness of students when harshly punished for breaking whimsical school rules.
For instance, some school regulations have rules specifying how long students' hair should be, and the students will be punished if their hair is longer or shorter than the stipulated range. And some schools prohibit any friendship between male and female students in a bid to prevent puppy love.
Recognizing students' right to appeal marks a big step forward in the modernization of the education system.
That schools are able to punish students at will goes against modern education concepts and hinders the personal development of students.
Almost all schools in the capital claim they want to encourage their students to develop independent personality and critical thinking in classroom. It is time the schools match their words with deeds.
The municipal education authority should further clarify the channels through which the students can appeal, and how their right to appeal can be protected. Since the schools as a party in any dispute cannot be the arbitrator, there must be a third party to settle the disputes between schools and students.