School of etiquette becomes a class apart

Updated: 2012-03-20 08:05

By An Baijie in Luohe, Henan (China Daily)

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Headmaster places emphasis on good manners to boost morale

Middle school principal Wang Zhengsheng has meticulously observed a Monday morning ritual for the past three years. Dressed in a sharp suit, he stands at the school gate and welcomes everyone with a courteous bow.

Wang does not carry out his gate ritual alone. There are nine other people - three teachers and six students on rotation - standing in two rows on both sides, chanting "Good morning" and bowing to the passing students. Greetings are returned by appreciative students.

Wang, 52, headmaster of Louhe No 15 Middle School in Central China's Henan province, has been promoting "etiquette education" since 2008 when he took charge. He believes politeness can go a long way to make students, especially the more rebellious ones, more obedient and studious.

"The students feel respected when teachers, even the headmaster, welcome them in the morning," Wang told China Daily. "In the long run, students will be more polite even after they graduate from the school."

Every teacher and student in the school is on duty at least twice each semester.

"Only by respecting others will you receive respect from them," Wang explained with a saying from an ancient Chinese book. It is a philosophy shared by many other cultures and societies.

School of etiquette becomes a class apart 

Several teachers and students bow after school to students walking out of the gate of Louhe No 15 Middle School in Central China's Henan province. Provided to China Daily

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