Former head of local education department under investigation for smearing Chinese traditional festival, historical figure
Published: Jun 07, 2022 12:11 AM

Photo: Screenshot of Wechat account of Sanshengjiaoyu
Photo: Screenshot of Wechat account of Sanshengjiaoyu

The Education Department of Southwest China's Yunnan Province is investigating its former head, Luo Chongmin, for his controversial remarks about the Dragon Boat Festival, one of the most important Chinese traditional festivals.

Yunnan's Education Department said in an announcement on Monday that it has set up a working group to investigate Luo Chongmin and will release the findings to the public in a timely manner.

Luo Chongmin published on Friday a poem titled "China's Dragon Boat Festival" on a WeChat account called Sangshengjiaoyu, calling the festival "a suicide-encouraging holiday." Luo said that the suicide of Qu Yuan, an ancient poet and government minister who drowned himself in the river to protest against the prevalent official corruption, was groundlessly made up and has been used to influence and control people for thousands of years.

Luo's remarks have immediately caused controversy as netizens found that Luo was the head of Yunnan's Education Department and national education supervisor appointed by China's Ministry of Education. Some netizens expressed concerns over the infiltration of false contents connected to the education sector given the recent scandal of "toxic" textbooks. China's Ministry of Education last week established a special team to conduct a thorough probe into "toxic" textbooks for children and vowed to hold those responsible of disciplinary and regulatory violations without leniency.

The Office of the Education Supervision Commission under China's State Council said in a statement on Monday that Luo is not the current education supervisor, warning media and netizens not to be fooled and misled by the hype Luo made with these remarks as an education supervisor.

According to the announcement released by Yunnan's Education Department on Monday, Luo Chongmin once served as the head of the province's education department from January 2008 to August 2012 and served as China's national education supervisor from October 2013 to October 2016.

Luo was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November 2017, due to a serious violation of the CPC disciplinary regulation.