Scholarship and education

Hangzhou high school students complain about spring break


Although the national holiday around Labor Day on May 1 has been cut back from a "Golden Week" to just a few short days, schools often break for a week or more. But students tend to spend much of their spring break in the classroom, attending mandatory review sessions organized by teachers and the administration.

Students at high schools in Hangzhou are furious that their schools have cut an 11-day holiday down to four days or less. Complaints posted in Hangzhou's 19lou forum have been deleted, so they've started up a US-hosted website that presents their argument and includes a copy of a notice from the Education Bureau that clearly prohibits spring break review sessions.

In classic online rant style, the page is center-justified and makes liberal use of colored text. Here's a translation; the page is being updated continuously, so click on the image above for a screenshot of the original at the time of this translation:


If you are dissatisfied with the two-faced school vacation policy, and if you have doubts about the credibility of the relevant government departments
[Please patiently read the following]

We harbor no ill will, because we are all just students ourselves. We just want to use rational means to protect our rights
We are simply trying to obtain what is rightfully ours, yet we never expected it to be so difficult

Wherever there is oppression, there will also be resistance, even though students' rights protection is no easy task
Although we are at a disadvantage, we will not so easily submit to the unwritten rules of education circles

The best way to calm anger is to provide an explanation, not to evade the question. That will only accomplish the opposite

In passing, we give a middle-finger salute to the Hangzhou 19lou forums for their despicable post deletions
Someone at the Xiaoqiang Hotline deceived a freshman by saying that the three-day vacation was an Education Bureau rule,
was this an intentional obfuscation, or couldn't he distinguish between freshmen and seniors?

If you support us, please tell people you know about so we may do all we can to protect our own interests.

School vacation list: (ought to be 11 days' vacation)

Hangzhou High School: 4 days
Hangzhou #14 Middle School: 4 days
Hangzhou Xuejun High School: 3 days
Hangzhou #4 Middle School: 3.5 days
Hangzhou #2 Middle School: 3 days
Hangzhou #9 Middle School: 3 days
Hangzhou Changzheng High School: 2.5 days
Hangzhou #11 Middle School: 3 days
Hangzhou Yuanqing High School: 2.5 days

The spring and fall breaks themselves were deducted from the summer break, so students have been robbed of their normal vacation rights.

Rest is one of the fundamental civil rights guaranteed in China's constitution, which workers ought to equally enjoy.

In 2006, the Ministry of Education clearly stated in Opinions on Carrying Out the Compulsory Education Law and Further Standardizing School Activity, Schools and teachers may not use holidays or rest periods to organize classess or review sessions for students*

The actions of the schools and education departments are unreasonable from any perspective. Please give us a reasonable explanation!

If you support us, then leave your opinion below. We need your support!

Once again, we do not support any (illegal) violent actions, we just want to rationally protect our rights!
People who delight in chaos, please go away, thanks!

After space for comments, the page includes two notices concerning the break schedule:

Notice 1:

To all primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, community (adult) learning centers, and agencies within the Education Bureau:

According to notices concerning State Council regulations on the May 1 holiday schedule and the Hangzhou Education Bureau's 2009 spring break schedule, spring break for primary and secondary schools (including the May 1 holiday) is scheduled for April 25 to May 3, nine days (including four weekend days), and class will resume on May 4.

Primary and secondary schools are asked to pay attention to the following in their spring break schedules:

1. Third-year high school and junior-high students will take only the May 1 holiday (May 1 - 3) (since this only mentions third-years, it shouldn't apply to first- and second-year students -- ed.), third-year junior and senior high students will make up the rest of the holiday after their matriculation exams. The Education Bureau, kindergartens, district professional training centers, youth centers, community education centers, and village adult centers will be open as usual apart from the May 1 holiday. Normal transport for teachers will be in service.

2. Schools will use the beginning of April for a School Safety Education Week, to promote safety education and to root out hidden safety problems in schools. Care must be taken prior to spring break to work with students on safety issues, to given them guidance and notify their parents in writing, and to take practical steps for the security of the school over the holiday. A May 1 holiday school security schedule must be submitted to Tu Yuan in the education department prior to April 24.

3. Schools can use time during the spring break to organize instructor training, and can also conduct spring trips, sports meets, practical experience, and supplemental education activities, but these must be carefully organized and must follow a strict schedule.

4. Primary and secondary schools are not to organize review classes for students during the spring break.

5. During the spring break, athletic fields are to be open to students and the community and should be appropriately managed.

Other matters are to be handled according to the administrative requests for previous spring and fall breaks.


Notice 2:

Urgent notice to Hangzhou primary and secondary schools concerning adjustments to spring break

At the request of the Hangzhou Education Bureau, and in light of the situation in Hangzhou, the 2009 spring break schedule for primary and secondary schools is adjusted as follows: this year's spring break for Hangzhou primary and secondary schools (including the May 1 holiday) is changed to April 30 to May 10, 11 days in total (including four weekend days), and classes will resume on May 11.


Note: The text originally read "Article 43 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China states: The state expands facilities for rest and recuperation of working people, and prescribes working hours and vacations for workers and staff." (translation via People's Daily).

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There are currently 5 Comments for Hangzhou high school students complain about spring break.

Comments on Hangzhou high school students complain about spring break

Good job! Hangzhou kids are learning to say NO to the phony school administration, the old burocratic craps, and ultimately the poisoning education system of China, but I think boycotting the extra class in holidys will be more effective than a media bash, especially when the most of the media are blocked and controlled.

Their use of an American hosted website is no less than an affront to the internal affairs of the great CCP and all Chinese people!!

I never got that long of a holiday when working at the schools (usually gave us the week off but made us work the surrounding weekends). Glad I don't have to deal with that schedule any more.

confrontation is a skill thats hould be taught in today's world.

I ask my university students how many days off we get for May holiday. They say, 3!. Bullcrap! It is only ONE day! Saturday and Sunday are not really anything more than the regular weekend. So in fact it is ONE. This government really brainwashes well.

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