China has urged local authorities to carry out a "thorough inspection" fromkindergartens to high schools to root out commercials and business activities oncampuses, according to a circular released by the Ministry of Education onFriday.
The move followed public outcry last month over commercials printed on thered scarves worn by third-graders in Danyanglu Primary School in Heze, Shandongprovince, which the circular said has led to "serious consequences".
The red scarves bearing commercials of a local real estate project weregiven to the students in a road safety promotion on the afternoon of Sept 25,and the school had said they did not notice an advertisement was printed onthem.
Lyu Yongmei, the headmaster, received a serious warning from the Partycommittee of the city's Economic Development Zone on Saturday.
A red scarf is a neckerchief worn by the Chinese Young Pioneers. Itrepresents a corner of the red flag and symbolizes the revolutionarytradition.
The ministry has pledged zero tolerance for using the red scarf intrademarks, commercials and business activities, the circular said.
County-level education bureaus and above should censor on-campusactivities, including the content, plan and organizers, and unapprovedactivities are prohibited from entering schools, it said.
For approved activities, authorities should designate a monitor whooversees the whole process and reports any commercial attempts.
The circular stressed that such activities should be nonprofit, andshouldn't disrupt teaching activities or add a burden to teachers andstudents.
The ministry also pledged severe punishment for misconduct.