An English teacher in China faces a scolding after her unusual method of motivating students was uncovered.
Scandal erupted when it was found that the teacher from Kunming, located in Yunnan province, had been fining her students for mistakes they made on English exams, and a story about her financial carrots and sticks was published.
According to the South China Morning post, the teacher fined children for 50 yuan (or about $7.50) for every wrong answer. The fines only applied to tests in which children had to fill in blanks in texts that they had to memorize.
The teacher also issued monetary rewards for students who excelled at exams: a dozen students with the best marks received a reward of 100 yuan, the report says.
It all ended when authorities discovered the cash for answers scheme and demanded the teacher return all the money, a total of 3,950 yuan.
According to Yunnan.cn, the teacher later admitted that her practices were inappropriate.
Not all parents, however, were troubled. At least one mother reportedly openly welcomed the motivational effect.
“To be honest, my boy was motivated,” the SCMP quoted the mother as saying. “After the rule, he proposed memorising textbook essays without being asked.”
The teacher also argued that she’d received the permission to impose monetary penalties and rewards from the school’s parents’ committee.
Among the opponents of penalties was Li Erping, a professor at Kunming University of Science and Technology.
“It’s normal to make mistakes in exams. They didn’t break any rules, why punish them?” Li said.