Planet China

Face off

Female students were greeted by an unusual sight when they arrived at a school in Sansui county in Guizhou province last week. A teacher was waiting for them with a bucket and a wet towel. According to Beijing News, he washed each of their faces before they were allowed to enter the No. 3 Middle School. His mission: to remove their make-up, which he associated with poorer academic performance.

School rules also prohibit girls from donning high heels and dying their hair but footage showing them having their faces scrubbed got most of the attention. Opinion was split, with some decrying the use of a communal bucket and towel as unhygienic. However, many more praised the teacher’s dedication, saying that students between the ages of 12 and 15 should not be wearing lipstick. Others noted that many of the kids were ‘left-behind’ children whose parents were away from home working as migrant labourers. With only their grandparents to rear them, discipline among these kids can be lacking, it was said. Hence the need for the teacher’s intervention. As one netizen said in admiration: “There are not so many good teachers around, these children are lucky.”

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