Head teaching resources in China may be constrained by the stern recruitment policy adopted by many Chinese government departments. Summarised in their recent edict the Ministry of Education announced they may not appoint future school headteachers who smoke. Although this policy has since been down rated to become advisory there are many who believe it will become a significant unwritten influence in future appointments.
The teaching role to lead by example is however compromised as clearly a significant role in the education of children is to lead by example. In a nation where 350 million people smoke, and that includes 70 per cent of all Chinese males, the role model set by the smoking head teacher has a predominately negative stance in PSHE heath education. The real difficulty would be to discover a good head teacher from the minority who don’t smoke. An interesting challenge was set by the parents lobby, who statistically are predominately smokers, requested the Ministry of education to respect the freedom of smokers in their workplace. Presumably until the MOE finally decides Chinese children will continue to be “taught” to smoke. Quite an own goal in the long term.