A survey has revealed that more than half of parents in Guangzhou present gifts to their children's teachers during Mid-Autumn Festival and Teachers' Day.
But 62 percent of teachers interviewed said they had mixed feeling about receiving gifts from parents.
The survey, conducted jointly last month by Southern Metropolis Daily and gd.qq.com, involved interviews with 1,247 parents and 189 teachers in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. A further 266 parents and teachers in Foshan, also in the province, were interviewed.
Mid-Autumn Festival fell on Monday, while Teachers' Day was on Wednesday. Many parents worry that teachers will not give their children adequate attention if they do not hand over festive presents.
"I worry my daughter will be put at a disadvantage if I don't give teachers gifts during the festivals while other parents do," said Chen Chushan, mother of an 8-year-old girl.
"Many parents of my daughter's classmates buy teachers gifts for Mid-Autumn Festival and Teachers' Day."
Chen's daughter is a third-grade pupil at a primary school in Guangzhou's Yuexiu district.However, a teacher from a high school in the city's Tianhe district said many teachers do not expect to receive gifts from students or parents. Instead, they would rather see their students work hard and perform well.
"Giving dinners and gifts is an unhealthy social practice that should not be encouraged," added the teacher, who did not wish to be named.
In July, the Ministry of Education banned teachers from accepting gifts from students and parents.
"But it is not easy to eradicate the practice because China is a society that has relied on human relationships," the teacher said.
She said she would like parents to have more contact with their children's teachers rather than sending gifts.
Most of the 52.24 percent of parents in Guangzhou who said they give teachers gifts send items worth around 500 yuan ($81.40). Gifts worth 2,000 yuan or more are provided by 17 percent of parents, according to the survey.
Gifts include money, mooncake coupons, shopping cards, jewels, pens, cosmetics and chocolates.
Only 25.57 percent of the parents surveyed in Foshan said they would not buy teachers gifts during the festivals.
"I never give teachers gifts, as I do not want to set a bad example for my son," said a Foshan father surnamed Jiang.
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