Last week Peking University sparked heated debate when it announced a new
reeducation‘consultation’ program targeting, among troubled students, those “with radical thoughts.” The university of course claims to be operating in the interest of the students, but the policy has resulted in an storm of criticism online and off, many drawing the all-too-obvious comparisons to Orwellian thought police and the Cultural Revolution. Yesterday, China Daily reported that university officials have now “delayed its introduction to allow more time for further discussion.”
According to China.org, the consultation program was announced last fall in response to several high-profile student suicides and homicides. Students with radical thoughts fall into only one of ten targeted categories, including “eccentricity”, “internet addiction”, “psychological fragility”, and problems with poverty, discipline, employment, and Internet addiction.
Peking University instructs those conducting the consultations as follows:
The relevant parties should respect students’ individual differences and carry out customized supporting plan. They should perform the task of educational management with care and love, and address ideological problems and practical issues at the same time.
Is the program just “delayed” or is the university looking for a convenient way to back out of their disaster of a policy? Watch this space.