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Jointly sponsored students and privileged schools

August 8, 2014

konjaku: an editorial following up on the Beijing city announcement on 2014-04-18 that “jointly sponsored” student admission is to be abolished.

In Beijing up to now, there have been joint sponsorships for children going from pre-school to elementary schools, the essence of these is to turn public property into private property

Beijing Evening News

Su Wenyang

http://www.youjiao.com/e/20140423/53572b089fc74.shtml

On 04-18 [2014], Beijing city issued a notice, stating that the “jointly sponsored” student admission is abolished, and the new keyword is “student status inspection and control.” The China Youth Bulletin reported that the majority of disputes over admitting students have been about jointly sponsored students, therefore the new policy abolishes them. The underlying meaning of the abolishment of “jointly sponsored” in this stage of compulsory education is to say “no” to privilege. News spokesman Li Yi said, “the jointly sponsored student is an historical product, which the government used to strengthen the educational system, but its meaning and usefulness has now passed. There will now be a chance for more students to get into top quality schools.”

Jinghua Times, on 04-19, under the heading, “Abolishing “jointly sponsored”admissions will break open privileged schools” said, “the jointly sponsored mechanism is for the most part on the level of ministries and commissions. Jointly sponsored schools are top quality schools, to a certain degree privileged schools, this clearly deviates from fair and impartial admissions. The jointly sponsored fee by which these schools operate stems from [government] financial allocations, In other words, these schools use state money to benefit the privileged few of the upper stratum.”

In my opinion, this is an action aimed at getting rid of corruption, the corruption of turning public property into private property. It is worth adding another point, which is that jointly sponsored schools are not only supported by ministries and commissions, but also by state run enterprises. As a reporter dealing with education issues since the 1980s, I am familiar with the issue. At that time, people considered jointly sponsored schools to be a remedy for underfunding, and as a way to give better material benefits to the teachers, a “win-win” situation.

Besides jointly sponsored students, there were other categories of students in which the family household head paid the school, this practice was given the fine sounding name of “financial aid education”, but in reality it was paying money in order for one’s child to attend a school. In other words, if someone paid, the school would take the student, and they didn’t ask where the money came from. The school covertly sold a student a spot in the school, and no one thought that was a problem. Nowadays people take this matter more seriously, and many problems arise. Some jointly sponsored students are in a school because the household head paid a sum, and others are sponsored through public money. The schools that take jointly sponsored students are mostly public schools, they are supposed to provide service to the whole society, however, public resources are diverted to the benefit of a few.

Chinese people have up to now not fully understood the difference between public and private. We previously advocated being “fair and square,” later, it was “public interest comes before private.” Cases of the public property converted to private property have always met with criticism. At the beginning of the [1949] liberation, there was joint state-private ownership, then in the cultural revolution period, it was ”ruthlessly purge private thoughts.” For the first thirty years after liberation [1949-1979] it was the public assaulting the private, and for the next thirty years after that, what has emerged is the phenomenon of the private assaulting public property. As a typical example, there are people who use public money and government privilege to keep a mistress. Yesterday, this paper reported that a vice president of the Bank of China, Wang Yongli, kept a mistress, but the Investigation Committee said there was no financial problem. In my experience, this is the only case in which keeping a mistress did not involve the use of public money, it can truly be called a rarity of rarities. In most cases, officials have used public money to keep a mistress, and these are cases of corruption, they are punishable crimes. As for jointly sponsored students, a small clique uses public resources to educate their own children, It is the same thing.

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