Shaanxi Graduate Told She Is Too Short to Be a Teacher

By Jesse Pottinger, July 7, 2018

0 0

There are plenty of reasons that a person might be unfit to teach, but you wouldn’t think that height – or lack of it – would be one of them. 

That is exactly the case for a woman in Shaanxi province who, after graduating from university, was told that she couldn’t be a teacher because she’s just too short. 

When the woman, who goes by the alias Li, signed up for the four-year teaching program at Shaanxi Normal University, nobody told her that she did not meet their steep requirements, according to Sixth Tone

Only upon graduating from the 2018 class, when she was denied a teaching license despite already being contracted to teach for a school, did the English major find out. 

"In four years, no one has noticed that the teacher qualification certificate has a height limit," Li said to Shaanxi News, according to BBC. "My dreams of becoming a teacher have been shattered."

There's no nationwide standard for a teacher’s height set by China’s Ministry of Education. However, provincial governments are allowed to implement province-wide regulations. In Shaanxi, male teachers are required to be a minimum of 155 centimeters, and females a minimum 150 centimeters, following changes made in 2009. 

With a special application, exceptions can also be made for individuals wanting to teach at a nursery, but only five centimeters shorter is allowed. At 140 centimeters, Li still didn't make the cut. 

READ MORE: English Teachers Caught Faking Qualifications in Beijing

When asked why they had not notified her prior to her degree, university staff were quick to pass blame onto the provincial government.

“The school just upholds these standards; it doesn’t make them,” said Yang, a staff member tasked with managing the school’s teaching certification process. 

But they did promise to stand by Li and address the problem with the provincial education office. 

Weibo users were also quick to support Li and express their frustration online. 

"This is blatant discrimination! How can the education department judge by appearances like this? As a teacher, I’m furious. This isn’t a beauty contest!” said one user, who received over 2,000 upvotes, according to Sixth Tone.

"Being limited by your height in having the ability to educate people and spread knowledge – the education department should review this," reads another, according BBC. 

Yet Shaanxi isn’t the only region with height requirements. BBC reports that many others have the same rules, arguing that it is in students’ best interest for the teacher to be able to reach the blackboard. 

Since the story has circulated, Sichuan and Jiangxi provinces, as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have all eliminated similar height and weight requirements. Shaanxi also plans to abolish the rule in 2019.

With the number of stories that circulate about teachers behaving questionably, and often downright horribly, a height requirement seems like a trivial standard to uphold. We hope to soon see xiao Li at her rightful place in the classroom soon!

READ MORE: Teacher Filmed Dragging Female Student by Her Hair in Guangdong

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

more news

Chinese Photographer Named One of BBC's 100 Women for 2018

The list aims to spotlight 100 influential and inspirational women from around the world.

Shanghai Outranks Other Chinese Cities in English Proficiency

Shanghai has surpassed all other Chinese regions in English proficiency, according to recent study.

China Loosens Ban on Endangered Rhino and Tiger Parts

After 25 years of prohibition, tiger bone and rhino horn return in trade.

No, China Has Not Banned Visa Agencies

Expats need not worry about a dearth of visa agencies going forward.

CV for 5-Year-Old Shanghai Boy Prompts Backlash Online

The CV boasts 'rich and varied experience,' including destinations he has traveled to and English-language books he has read.

Another Livestreamer Detained in China for Mocking National Anthem

This is the second time in a month that a livestreamer has been detained for disrespecting the national anthem of the PRC.

Internet Celebrity Detained For Disrespecting Chinese Anthem

Yang Kaili has been given five days detention after singing a segment the ‘March of the Volunteers,’ China’s national anthem, in a disrespectful manner.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.