A primary school in China plans to charge students for taking afternoon naps on desks, mats or beds. The startling move has provoked widespread anger on social media. Jiesheng Primary School is planning to charge students in the new school year, South China Morning Post reported.
The school sent a notice to its parent-teacher WeChat group. The school did not state any reason for the new fees, it listed three types of items which would have fees attached.
According to the media outlet, sleeping at your desk would incur a charge of 200 yuan (Rs 2,275) per term. Those who seek the comfort of classroom mats will be required to pay 360 yuan (Rs 4,094). The school will charge the highest fee of 680 yuan (Rs 7,856) if students prefer to rest in the private rooms which are equipped with beds.
An unidentified member of staff at the school confirmed the existence of the afternoon nap charges. The school would arrange for teachers to look after the students during naps, the media outlet reported.
“It is not mandatory. Students also can choose to go back home during their lunch break,” the staff member told local media.
The staff said these charges align with official regulations, and private schools have the autonomy to determine such fees.
Social media users in China have called this move absurd and they have questioned the necessity of charging students for the basic act of resting during the school day.
However, The Dongguan City Development and Reform Bureau spokesperson defended the fees and claimed they are reasonable due to the presence of teachers during nap times.
Social media users are in disbelief and many have expressed their anger at the school’s decision.
Commenting on the post, a user wrote, “Is this a joke? The school has gone crazy just to make money.”
Another individual wrote, “Am I the only one who can’t understand why students need to pay for sleeping at their desks?”
A third user remarked, “This is ridiculous. Next, the school will charge a fee for going to the restroom or breathing?”