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China's new code of conduct for students triggers debate

The absence of a rule encouraging brave actions in the code of conduct for students has sparked debate among Chinese parents and netizens, who wonder whether it is for safety concerns or an encouragement of cowardice.

A draft of the code of conduct for primary and middle school students, which is issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE) lately, has asked students to learn how to protect themselves and seek help under some dangerous circumstances.

In terms of safety, the draft has also reminded students of traffic safety and the possibility of drowning when swimming, as well as the danger of drugs.

In the older version of the code of conduct, students were told to act bravely, stop violations of social norms and report serious criminal acts.

While some parents have hailed the change in the draft, saying teenagers' priority is self-protection rather than defend others, some say it is a step back in nurturing the spirit of mutual assistance.

"Children can be taught on how to protect themselves, but the deletion of acting bravely can only educate selfish citizens," said "Tonghuaizu" on Weibo, a twitter-like platform.

There are other changes in the draft such as the alteration of "love the nation and the people" to "respect the national flag and national emblem" and the addition of "lead a low-carbon life" and "actively participate in voluntary services."

Wang Dinghua from MOE earlier said that the revision of the code of conduct is to replace some obsolete and impractical contents with those that meet our times.