Category: Education

Twins are known to be super competitive with each other at times. Twins take the sibling rivalry a notch higher because they are often compared to each other and expected to be better than their counterparts.  However, this pair of twins used healthy competition as a motivator to help each other excel in their academics.

To everyone’s astonishment, a pair of identical twins, Tan Xing Hong and Xing Han managed to score identical results for Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). According to an article published by The Star, they successfully achieved a perfect cumulative grade point average (CGPA) score of 4.00 in their exams. Their alma mater SMJK Jit Sin has the highest number of candidates in Penang and it is also home to highest number of students achieving that perfect 4.0

Despite being in different classes, it certainly did not stop them from doing their twin magic. Healthy competition for this pair is when they study together and are willing to share new information and knowledge with each other. When asked what was the secret to their perfect score, Xing Hong had a very simple answer.

“We usually attend tuition classes together and do our revision after dinner. After school, we will study from 3pm to 7pm before we have our dinner,” said Xing Hong. However, they also added that they don’t study all the time. To strive for balance, the twins play sports and computer games in their free time. 

The twins also shared a few tips that helped perfect their recipe for success. The twins would always approach their teachers or seek solutions online when they are met with academic questions that they couldn’t figure out. However, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine for this duo. 

“We were stressed out when we started Form Six,” said Xing Hong. The brothers mutually agreed that it took them a while to gain their bearings in Form Six, especially during their first semester. Upon seeing the fruits of their labour, the duo were motivated to go the extra mile. This pair of aspiring engineers are hoping to further their studies in a public university. 

According to State Education Department deputy director of student development sector Zahari Zakariah, Penang has experienced an increase in the number of candidates that scored a CGPA of 4.00 which is 60 students. It’s higher compared to last year’s 41 candidates. 


The fact that more local than foreign students populate international schools in Malaysia is not news.

Since enrollment into international schools was opened to local students back in 2006, reports state there are 44,575 Malaysians compared to 25,220 foreigners to date in 163 international schools here.

But as the number continues to rise, local academics and education experts worry this may lead to an “identity crisis” among local students ― that not being educated in a national school may lead to them feeling (and being) less Malaysian.

A member of the National Education Advisory Council Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said there is nothing to worry about as the percentage of Malaysian students in international schools only make up less than five per cent of the total number of Malaysian students nationwide.

Independent senior researcher and education consultant Tan Ai Mei feels nation-building efforts are not predicated merely on enrolment in national schools.

“What it means to be Malaysian is the sense of belonging to a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country.

“This is not reflected in most national schools due to the overwhelming percentage of a single race ― Malays ― in most of them,” she added.

On the other hand, Tan said, while international schools do teach Bahasa Malaysia to Malaysian students, the syllabus merely scratches the surface.

“Perhaps the government could sit down with international schools to improve the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus.

“This is important as these are the future leaders of the country. To lead the country, they need to be conversant in Bahasa Malaysia apart from English and Mandarin,” she said. 

While acknowledging that national school standards are trailing behind that at international schools, Noor Azimah who is also Parents Action Group for Education (Page) chairman, said all is not lost.

“I sent my children to national schools. They turned out fine. Some parents are spoilt but if they have the means, it’s up to them,” she said when contacted by Malay Mail.

That said, Noor Azimah suggested that the government look into how it can improve and raise the standards of national schools to gain public confidence.

From her observations on the ground, Tan also said that education in the country has been politicised too much.

She feels that national schools end up becoming “more like religious schools” because of the hours allocated to religious classes.

“I have spoken to some of the teachers and also religious non-governmental organisations, telling them that a school is not where you spread ideology or religious teachings.

“School is where children are groomed to be leaders of the country through education,” she added.

Meanwhile Fairview International School director of corporate affairs Jonson Chong viewed allegations by local academic and education experts that international schools are only interested in profits as unfair.

Through meeting with parents, Chong found they are concerned about the learning experiences their children are going through in national schools. 

“If the government wants Malaysians to be more patriotic, then show that there is a lot for us to be proud of, and we are accepted like Malaysians,” said Chong. 

Conversations with several parents whose children are in international schools show that the main reason for enrolling their children in these schools is to ensure a smooth transition into university later.

Cheah Seng Chye said the Education Ministry’s decision to abolish the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) definitely influenced parents’ decision to send their children to international schools.

Cheah said he made the decision to send his daughter to an international school after his son’s rough transition into university.

Cheah’s son had completed his secondary school education in a national school, and later was awarded a scholarship to continue his studies in Singapore.

“But when he went down to Singapore, he realised that the standard was totally different… for the first semester he was struggling. He didn’t do very well to the point that the school called us to have a chat.”

He added that going to an international school will not make a person less Malaysian.

Another parent Malay Mail spoke to also sent her daughter to an international school for the same reason.

“We wanted to be sure that our daughter was able to master both Maths and Science, apart from English as they were equally important,” said Sofea Ahmad.

Sofea said this does not make her child less Malaysian as they converse in both Bahasa Malaysia and English at home.

 “She will not become less Malaysian, I can assure you of that. She knows the value of being a Malaysian and what it’s all about.

“My husband and I constantly teach her the values of being a Malaysian, Malaysian historical figures and we visit historical sites around the country,” she said.

Instead, she expressed concern about her daughter missing out academically if she had opted to send her to a national school.

Celina Tong also took her children out of national schools when the PPSMI policy was abolished.

She added that, if anything, students in international schools are not subjected to the idea of “separation.”

“Unlike at national schools where we were always separated for Islamic religious classes and Moral classes, everyone is taught the same subjects at international schools.

“In fact, they learn about integration at a young age ― getting to know about other countries so they don’t get a culture shock when they leave school,” she added.

At the time of writing, Malay Mail’s attempts to reach out to the Education Ministry have not been successful.


Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) yesterday held a mini convocation ceremony specially for Abdul Halim Mat Hassan, 25, who is suffering from stage four nasal cancer at his home in Kampung Kok Kiak Baka, here.

UMK vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azizi Ismail presented the scroll to Abdul Halim, having been conferred a Bachelor’s degree in Heritage Studies, witnessed by the university’s top management including Student Affairs deputy vice-chancellor and UMK alumnus, Prof Dr Zaliman Sauli as well as the proud parents Mat Hassan Hammat, 63, and Mariah Ismail, 59.

Abdul Halim said he was supposed to attend the university’s 9th convocation ceremony on Oct 19 but he had to give it a miss due to his health condition.

“I felt very sad then because I was not able to put on my robe and celebrate the occasion with my friends at the ceremony.

“However, today I am so happy and thankful to UMK for their concern and trouble in organising this mini convocation ceremony which has enabled even my 109-year-old grandmother Zainab Sulaiman to share my joy.” he said.

Abdul Halim the seventh of 10 siblings said he was diagnosed with nasal cancer in Oct 2017, causing the left side of his face to feel numb, swollen and painful, that also left him blind in one eye.

“As a result, I had to undergo one year of treatment including seven rounds of chemotherapy and 36 radiotherapies to kill the cancer cells,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Noor Azizi said the mini convocation was the second to be organised by the university as the first was held at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) in Dec last year.

He said the ceremony held today was an initiative taken by UMK to honour Abdul Halim on obtaining his degree and to give him moral support.

“We at UMK pray that Abdul Halim be granted the strength to fight his illness and for him to gain full recovery so that he could lead a normal life,“ he added.


PADA tahun 2018, The University of Auckland di New Zealand melaksanakan kaedah menjawab soalan peperiksaan menggunakan komputer.

Ia dilaksanakan bagi subjek tertentu yang dikategorikan lebih efisien bagi penuntut untuk menjawab soalan berbanding kaedah lama menggunakan pen dan kertas.

Dalam satu garis panduan yang dikeluarkan dalam laman web universiti, pihak pengurusan berpandangan penggunaan komputer memudahkan penuntut untuk menjawab dan menyunting semula jawapan berbanding kaedah tulisan tangan.

Ia juga memudahkan pensyarah untuk membaca jawapan dan memberikan markah. Malah kaedah berkenaan lebih mesra alam sekitar apabila menjimatkan penggunaan kertas.

Penuntut juga diberi pilihan sama ada mahu menggunakan laptop peribadi ataupun menggunakan komputer yang telah disediakan pihak universiti.

Jika menggunakan laptop peribadi, penuntut dikehendaki untuk memuat turun perisian DigiExam yang dicipta untuk melancarkan proses menduduki peperiksaan.

Antaranya ia menghalang penuntut mengakses perisian lain ketika menduduki peperiksaan bagi mengelakkan berlakunya unsur penipuan.

Pihak universiti juga menyediakan ‘ear plugs’ bagi mengurangkan gangguan bunyi papan kekunci.

Ada beberapa lagi panduan diberikan pihak universiti bagi memastikan proses menduduki peperiksaan berjalan dengan lancar dan mematuhi syarat sistem pendidikan di New Zealand.

Universiti di Malaysia juga harus memikirkan kaedah terbaik bagi mencontohi cara tersebut kerana penggunaan pen dan kertas untuk menjawab soalan sudah tidak lagi relevan bagi sesetengah subjek.

Ini kerana, tugasan harian rata-ratanya menaip menggunakan komputer dan jarang sekali penuntut menulis menggunakan pen dan kertas selama dua hingga tiga jam.

Tambahan pula kita sudah berada di era teknologi dan internet yang berkembang dengan pantas.

Mengarang jawapan di kertas dalam tempoh yang lama sudah pasti memberi kesan kepada kualiti penulisan dan juga jawapan.

Walaupun sudah ditetapkan skema pemarkahan, tulisan yang hodoh sedikit sebanyak memberi kesan kepada emosi penanda kertas jawapan.


Building good civic sense among students

November 29, 2019 | Education | No Comments

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Education system is on the right track towards meeting the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and providing students with skills for the 21st century.

At the same time, the Education Ministry is also working towards instilling good civic sense and building good values among students to help them be prepared for the challenges for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Education Director-General Datuk Dr Amin Senin said through various policies and initiatives under the Education Blueprint (2013- 2025), there has been a visible improvement in the entire education system, especially among the poor and hardcore poor.

However, one of the ministry’s greatest concern was instilling good civic sense among students, hence the need for Civic Education to be taught in schools again.

“Let me clarify a bit on the Civic studies implemented since June because its not a subject on its own or Moral as some parents assume,” Amin said in an interview recently.

“Moral Education is taught to non-Muslim students while Muslim students take Pendidikan Islam but both these subjects does not substitute the civic education we reintroduced. This is because the approach is more practical and embedded into one’s thinking and acting abilities, ” Amin said when met at the ministry recently.

Amin said the ministry’s aim is to teach students to apply moral values in their daily lives and to help create a civilised citizen with knowledge of their rights, social responsibility, mutual respect and happiness.

“Civic education is not new and was part of the education system in the 1960s, only to be scrapped and revived several times before being reintroduced now.

“When it was first introduced after Merdeka, it used to be known as ‘tatarakyat’ emphasising on self management, interaction with elders, neighbour and mutual respect.

“During the second rebirth of Civics and Citizenship Education, the focus components were knowledge, national identity and patriotism and values.

“However, In the current Civics Education launched in August, the focus is on “literasi sivik” (civic awareness) and “amali sivik” (applied civics),” Amin added.

This will be done through the latest modules, concepts and approaches, which will be different from the subject that had been previously taught in schools.

“Civic literacy includes nationhood and social-emotional aspects of citizenship which will be embedded in the curriculum, and should be mastered by students.

“Civic practices on the other hand, gives space and opportunities for students to put civic literacy into practice. This is done during the school assembly, co-curricular activities and school programmes.

“Previously Civics was taught as a subject. However, this time lessons are not only confined to classroom teaching and learning. Students need to be taught how to process information, and they need adaptable skills they can apply in all areas of life — just teaching them ideas and facts, without teaching them how to use them in real-life settings, is no longer enough.”

With the civic education module, educators will expose students to real life situations and practices within society.

“We will be implementing it for one hour every fourth week of the month during Bahasa Melayu, English, Islamic and Moral Studies and History at primary and preschool levels.

“Children in pre-schools will be taught only 30 minutes, as we are trying not to burden the existing teaching and learning period.”

He added that educators also need to adapt and develop new ways of teaching and learning that reflect a changing world.

Commenting on the various policies and initiatives under the Education Blueprint (2013- 2025), Amin said the system implemented has been successful in educating young children in pre schools and primary schools so that they would have the basic minimum education required.

Amin said a child needed to be exposed to basic knowledge and education as provided in primary school so that they are able to survive in the ever changing and challenging environment.

“For this, we must make sure that children receive equal quality education in national schools, both primary and secondary, regardless of their background and differences.’

Based on the ministry’s yearly data statistics, he said comparison of last three years has showed a positive development, mainly in the number of students who succeed in meeting the minimum requirements to enter into secondary schools.

He added that a primary school student must obtain at least a pass , D, in all the compulsory subjects in the UPSR examination to be able to enter secondary school.

“However, this was a huge challenge for the ministry because prior to 2016, there was an average of 90,000 to 95,000 students annually who did not make the cut.”

Amin added this trend fortunately changed along with the changes the ministry introduced in 2016.

“Our focus is not academic achievements, scoring straight A’s alone. Instead the ministry aims to make sure more students actually meet the minimum requirement of passing, at least with a D in their subjects.

“For instance, let take the Mathematics subject in primary schools. In 2016, the ministry found that out of 440,000 students, 90,000 did not meet the minimum requirement of a D in the subject. But through adopting a different approach and implementing various programmes, last year we managed to bring it down to 70,000 in UPSR. There has been a consistent reduction in the numbers since.

” The best part is that we did this without compromising on the straight As achievers, whose numbers also continue to increase”.

He said this was very important because the education system used in Malaysia is formulated from Gross Oriented Holistic Education, which prioritize students to pass in all subjects.


Ayuh ‘think about it’

October 8, 2019 | Education, Trending | No Comments

KENYATAAN selebriti popular, Maya Karin dalam Twitter menjadi trending kelmarin disebabkan persoalan ‘how old are you?’Ramai yang mengecam kenyataan itu apatah lagi Maya turut tagging beberapa individu termasuklah Menteri Pendidikan, Dr Maszlee Malek.

Namun tidak kurang juga yang menyokong apa yang dimaksudkan oleh aktres jelita itu.

Bagi penulis, pertanyaan itu tiada khilafnya. Hala tuju ayat itu bergantung kepada bagaimana kita membaca serta memahaminya.

Jika dibaca ayat akhir pada tulisan Maya itu ‘think about it’, ya memang Kementerian Pendidikan kena fikirkan semula.

Bukan apa, pertanyaan Maya kepada murid terbabit adalah satu persoalan asas yang mula dipelajari di peringkat tadika lagi.

Ibaratnya jika kanak-kanak tadika belajar bahasa Melayu, persoalan siapa nama awak? Berapa umur awak? Itu persoalan utama yang dipelajari dalam memahami bahasa Melayu.

Jadi, kebimbangan Maya terhadap penguasaan bahasa Inggeris murid tahun empat itu ada asasnya. Ya, Maya pun tidak sebut dia salahkan sesiapa namun kita yang berfikiran terbuka ini sepatutnya faham bahawa sesuatu perlu dilakukan terhadap silibus dan pembelajaran subjek bahasa Inggeris di sekolah.

Jika ingin membincangkan cara pembelajaran bahasa di sekolah sebenarnya memang ada kelemahannya. Penulis tidak pasti di mana betul letaknya kelemahan itu tetapi ada pengalaman untuk dikongsi.

Penulis mempunyai anak berumur 10 tahun. Semasa berumur empat tahun, dia dihantar ke tadika swasta. Semasa di tadika, pembelajaran bahasa Inggerisnya sangat memuaskan hati.

Dia boleh bertutur dan membaca dalam bahasa Inggeris dengan sangat jelas dan lancar walaupun di rumah, bercakap dalam bahasa itu bak kata P Ramlee ‘kadang-kadang saja ia berlaku.’ Itu waktu berada di tadika.

Tetapi apabila dia masuk sekolah rendah, dia dah kurang bertutur dalam bahasa Inggeris. Di rumah apatah lagi, boleh dikira ayat bahasa Inggeris yang dituturnya.

Memang ada silapnya penulis sendiri yang tidak bertutur sepenuhnya dalam bahasa itu di rumah. Tetapi persoalannya, bagaimana tadika boleh mempraktikkan pembelajaran bahasa Inggeris secara berkesan sedangkan di sekolah lain caranya sehingga langsung hilang ayat dalam bahasa Inggeris yang keluar dari mulut anak penulis.

Penulis tidak salahkan cikgu sepenuhnya apatah lagi ‘cikgu’ utama di rumah pun tidak mempraktikkannya.

Namun betul apa yang Maya mahu Menteri Pendidikan lakukan iaitu ‘think about it!’ memang ada asasnya.

Begini, kita faham benar persoalan bahasa sama juga seperti agama, sangat sensitif dan hampir tidak boleh disentuh langsung.

Namun, seiring dengan zaman yang pantas beredar, penguasa negara perlu melakukan sesuatu agar generasi masa depan mampu menguasai bahasa Inggeris dengan baik tanpa meminggirkan bahasa kebangsaan.

Mungkin ramai yang tidak sedar, hampir semua anggota Kabinet, profesor, ahli perniagaan dan tokoh korporat boleh berbahasa Inggeris dengan baik malah, sebahagian besarnya mendapat peluang belajar di luar negara. Itu mungkin suratan rezeki mereka.

Jadi bagi kita yang berada pada tahap pertengahan ini, tidak perlu melatah, melantun atau memberi reaksi segera yang mempersenda apa yang Maya katakan kerana kita sendiri belum tentu menguasai bahasa Inggeris dengan baik.

Penulis juga sekadar memberikan buah fikiran, bukan menyokong secara bebal apa yang dikatakan pemilik nama sebenar Maya Karin Roelcke itu.

Artis itu hanya suruh kita semua termasuk kementerian bertanggungjawab berfikir sedalam-dalamnya senario yang berlaku dan oleh kerana bahasa Inggeris digunakan oleh berjuta-juta orang untuk bertutur, jadi mari kita ‘think about it.’


Roman Fedortsov, 39, has posted his incredible finds after spending a lot of his time on fishing trawlers, coming into contact with a wide variety of sealife.

Bright orange blobs, slug like lumps, fish with teeth and bulging eyes – these are the terrifying alien-like finds a Russian fisherman has come across in his job.

Roman Fedortsov, 39, spends a lot of his time on fishing trawlers, coming into contact with a wide variety of sealife.

Mr Fedortsic, from Murmansk, Russia, works as commercial fisherman catching cod, haddock and mackerel – but the bizarre critters pictured below make an appearance too.

These aquatic curiosities were mainly found in the Norwegian and Barents seas while some of them came ashore from the Atlantic Ocean.

In one image of a mushroom-like orange creature, he wrote: “Oh my God! They killed Kenny!” in reference to the phrase from South Park about character Kenny that dies in every episode.

“At the pole of the body is a slit-shaped mouth, surrounded by a nimbus of tentacles. Their tentacles have gills that are poisonous.

“Although sea anemones are mainly poisonous only for their prey, some species are toxic to humans. There are more than 1000 varieties.

“They feed on zooplankton, mussels, fish and shrimps. Sea anemones feed on food and excrete waste products through the same hole.”

In another post featuring a picture of an angler fish, he wrote: “I am very sorry I did not take more pictures of this sea creature” to which someone replied: “Who needs aliens when you have an entire f****** ocean of them.”

Roman said he set up his social media accounts to share the pictures with people who otherwise might not get to see them.

And while people are fascinated by the images, they have certainly put a lot of people off going near the sea.

A school for underprivileged students in India has found a creative way to solve waste disposal issues in its village and encourage more students to join the school.It began accepting dry plastic waste as school fees.

Akshar Forum, a school located in the Indian village of Pamohi in Guwahati, recently implemented the new policy in accordance with a recycling programme in January.

The programme involved students collecting plastic waste from nearby houses, segregating them, and repurposing the plastics in different ways

The school that had started with only 20 kids now has over 100 kids between the ages of four years old to 15 years old.

Each child brings in at least 25 items of plastic waste per week as their contribution to their community and the environment

Recycling household plastic waste in lieu of school fees has cultivated a sense of environmental awareness among the students

“We wanted to start a free school for all, but stumbled upon this idea after we realized a larger social and ecological problem brewing in this area,”co-founder Parmita Sarma told The Better India.
“Here it was a norm to burn waste plastic to keep warm. We wanted to change that and so we started to encourage our students to bring their plastic waste as school fees,” she added.

“The idea is to train students in recognising how to live an eco-friendly life,” Borthakur said, adding that the entire recycling program is carried out by the students from start to finish.

Unlike traditional schools, Akshar does not have age-specific standards or grades, but is based entirely on the knowledge level of students

Without restricting students to a fixed curriculum, Akshar Forum allows students to hone their personal skills and talents in their own capacities.

“The idea behind this is to break open the conventional ideas of education,” Parmita said.

“One of the biggest problems with the sector is the relevance of education. These kids needed the right blend of theory and practical knowledge that could enable them enough skills for various job opportunities,” Mazin explained.

The free school is also referred to as a “haven for at-risk teens”

“Boys with unsafe home situations and bad influences in the neighbourhood stay in school for several days a week, sleeping in the boys hostel,” an Instagram caption by the Akshar Foundation read.


Getting a spot in matriculation is the ultimate goal for many SPM students but due to the limited seats, many candidates even with a string of distinctions failed to secure a place for themselves. This is exactly what happened to Chew Man Fei from Teluk Intan, Perak.

According to China Press, Chew scored 8As and 2Bs in 2018 SPM but he failed to get the offer for matriculation even after appealing for it twice. Understandably, this has broken the student’s spirit as he had worked hard for it. The 55-year-old single mother said,

“My son’s result during primary school was below average but he knows his mother was going through a tough time. So, he studied hard and woke up at midnight to do his revisions. He slowly worked his way up to become a top student only to be rejected by the government. 

“The school praised my son in multiple occasions saying he should be the role model for other students due to his determination. It turned out that he worked hard for nothing.”

It was reported that Chew’s mother earns RM1,500 working as a clerk and she has to feed and clothe four children. The parents had broken up when Chew was still very young. Despite his age, Chew, seeming to be an understanding kid, started working hard after realizing his mother’s predicament. In fact, Chew managed to climb out of the remove class after UPSR and work his way up to become the top student at his school.

“I’ve always wanted to enter matriculation followed by studying in a public university so that I can lighten my mother’s burden. It’s hard to describe my feeling seeing how other students with weaker results got into matriculation.

“I sincerely hope the Ministry of Education can consider my application and allow me to enter matriculation,” Chew said, adding that he wants to become a doctor.

Earlier today (22 May), Chew and his mother had appealed to MCA Teluk Intan branch and out of all the high-achievers who’ve made appeals, Chew has the highest score at 98.29 per cent. This shows just how stiff the competition is.

Currently, Chew is a Form 6 student in SMJK San Min but he remains hopeful for a spot in matriculation. Good luck Chew! 

Honestly, the Ministry of Education should work in tandem with other ministries to solve this problem once and for all, as we hear such heartbreaking stories every year. Don’t you guys agree? 


A vocational high school in central China has fired a drill instructor who kicked and slapped a female student in an argument last week.

Zeng Qingbin, a spokesman for the Wuhan Jiangxia Vocational Technical School, confirmed the 21-year-old man had been dismissed after the incident on Wednesday.

“Our school strictly forbids corporal punishment. No matter what, instructors cannot hit students,” Zeng told Chutian Metropolis Daily on Saturday.

In a video of the incident posted on social media, a camouflage-clad trainer is seen arguing with a student, pressing her against a wall and kicking her twice. The girl retaliates by slapping him, and he then slaps the student in the face three times.

The instructor was a contractor brought in to help maintain a military-style approach to learning and life at the boarding school in Wuhan, Hubei province, according to the report. He was also fired by the company that employed him as a contractor.

The student, who is in her second year at the high school, had been caught by the instructor trying to slip out of campus without permission on Monday last week, the report said.

He had asked her to write an apology letter as punishment, but she did not do it, Zeng told the newspaper. The pair then got into an argument on Wednesday over the matter which led to the fight. Police were called to the scene but no charges were filed, he said.

The school and the instructor have apologised to the student and her parents and the school paid them compensation of 1,000 yuan (S$202). The student’s father told the newspaper he had accepted the school’s response and donated the money to a fund for his daughter’s class.

Many vocational high schools in China create a military-like environment for their students, aiming to instil discipline and order. Wuhan Jiangxia Vocational Technical School, which has about 2,000 students, had been using contractors to maintain a regimented routine on the campus for many years, Zeng told the newspaper.

But the incident drew criticism on microblog site Weibo, with some questioning whether it was appropriate for schools to employ drill instructors.

“These schools, these drill instructors use the excuse of education to earn money from parents, but they’re not educating the students,” one person from Dalian wrote. “Why do they use this violent method to educate children?”