Substandard dictionaries given to 3 mln students

2013-05-05 23:37:59 GMT2013-05-06 07:37:59(Beijing Time)  SINA English

Substandard dictionaries, containing numerous errors, were given to over 3 million elementary and secondary school students in Hubei Province as part of a government subsidized program, China Central Television (CCTV) reported Friday.

The CCTV exposé said the dictionaries, provided by the Hubei Provincial Department of Education, were not the proper edition, nor did they correctly identify the authors of the dictionary. The dictionary handed out in the province resemble the official "Xinhua Dictionary" edition, but are titled "Student Xinhua Dictionary," published by Chongwen Publishing House in Wuhan.

The dictionary has the same layout as the previous version published by Chongwen Publishing House, which was originally compiled in 2001 by Yang Heming a professor at Wuhan University, who said he had nothing to do with the current edition.

Linguists say the latest edition contains four times as many errors as standards permit and the dictionaries need to be destroyed.

The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance ordered schools last October to give free dictionaries to all students receiving the nine-year compulsory education in rural areas. It stipulated that the official "Xinhua Dictionary" be handed out and provided subsidies of around 1.7 billion yuan ($276 million) to ensure the 120 million rural students get a free dictionary.

The CCTV report said that under government guidelines the 66 million yuan contract should have provided 4.72 million dictionaries but there are only 3.8 million students in the province who are qualified to receive the free dictionary.

Hubei Provincial Department of Education refused interview requests by CCTV.

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Editor: Yu Runze
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