Daily Drip

Back to School: Pole-Dancing Principals and Mandatory Commercials

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The summer holidays are over and China has gone back to school. But in addition to feelings of dread and some last minute “what I did on my holidays” prep, there’ve been some more unusual stories floating around as the country’s students get back to their studies.

SCMP carries a story about anger from parents who made their kids sit down for a CCTV educational special, only to be bombarded with a load of advertisements:

Notices were sent to pupils and their parents instructing them to watch a government-made programme called The First Lesson before school classes resumed on Monday.

But the programme on China Central Television, the state broadcaster, began with 12 minutes of advertising – prompting an outcry from parents.

“Please take your children to watch it on time,” one primary school in Beijing told parents. “A photo showing the student watching the programme must be submitted to the online chat group.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, once they’d made it through all the commercials, they had to watch Jackie Chan doling out life advice as part of the show.

Elsewhere, this thread from Shenzhen-based Bloomberg writer Michael Standaert also caught our eye:

Reaction on Chinese social media has not been especially accepting of the unusual move, with some users on Weibo, err, let’s say questioning how appropriate it was.

A picture of the incident circulating on Weibo

好好学习,天天向上!(Study hard and every day you will improve!) – as the old Chinese idiom goes.

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