China’s Ministry of Education says at least 27 people have been held accountable for problematic illustrations in math textbooks for primary school students published by the People’s Education Press.
The ministry announced this in a statement announcing the results of an investigation into the illustrations it described as “ugly.”
“The overall style of the illustrations do (sic) not conform to the aesthetic tastes of the public,” the ministry said. “Some illustrated characters are ugly, show poor spirit and style, and do not reflect a positive image of our nation’s children.”
It also said some did not meet high professional standards for illustration production. According to the ministry, certain illustrations featured errors, and some others had the potential to cause misunderstandings.
It added that the services of Wu Yong, cover designer Lyu Min, and Lyu Jingren, and their workshops, would no longer be used for national textbooks’ design and illustration.
The PEP has completed recreating the illustrations of the math textbooks for primary school students. It is making all-out efforts to ensure that the new books will be available before the start of the new semester in September.
According to the statement, some problematic illustrations circulated online are not from PEP primary school math textbooks and will also be rectified.
The ministry said it had launched an overhaul of illustrations and content in textbooks, supplementary materials, and extracurricular reading materials for primary and middle schools across the country.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government ordered an investigation into the illustrations after they sparked outrage among citizens, who described the drawings as offensive.
“The problems identified will be rectified immediately, and those responsible for violations of discipline and regulations will be severely held accountable,” the ministry had said in June. (Xinhua/NAN)