The local government in Lu'an, East China's Anhui province, has issued an apology for the crude law enforcement methods used to break up a teachers' protest. Qianjiang Daily comments:
The apology came after photos were posted online showing police officers taking away the teachers by force.
The teachers at public schools in the Jin'an and Yu'an districts of Lu'an in East China's Anhui province were protesting because they did not receive a bonus that teachers from the other districts in the city had received.
The bonus stems from a clause of the Teacher's Law, which stipulates the average income of teachers of public schools should not be lower than that of local civil servants, so the city government provides the teachers with a bonus each year to fill in their income gap with local officials so as not to violate the law.
Although it is right for the Lu'an government to apologize for the policemen acting improperly, and it has refuted suggestions that the money has been misappropriated, it is a pity that it has not yet explained why when other teachers in their jurisdiction have received the bonus, the teachers in the two districts have not yet got theirs, or even when they will receive it.
The response of Lu'an has deliberately avoided these issues.
The bonuses depend on the financial situation of local governments, and some places cannot afford to pay them. It is understandable that there is a gap between different places, which depends entirely on how deep their pockets are. But within the same administrative area, if the bonuses are paid to some, they should be paid to all.
Teachers, especially teachers in less-developed areas, shoulder the responsibility of passing on their knowledge so that young people have an opportunity to change their fate through their own efforts. If teachers are not treated fairly, it will be impossible to retain good teachers. This is a problem that cannot be evaded.
Local governments need to enhance the transparency of their finances, and increase teachers' salaries to replace the current bonus system.
(Source: China Daily)