World China punishes 27 people over ‘tragically ugly’ illustrations in maths textbook

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Chinese authorities have punished 27 people over the publication of a maths textbook that went viral over its “tragically ugly” illustrations.

A months-long investigation by a ministry of education working group found the books were “not beautiful”, and some illustrations were “quite ugly” and did not “properly reflect the sunny image of China’s children”.

The mathematics books were published by the People’s Education Press almost 10 years ago, and were reportedly used in elementary schools across the country. But they went viral in May after a teacher published photos of the illustrations inside, including people with distorted faces and bulging pants, boys pictures grabbing girls’ skirts and at least one child with an apparent leg tattoo.

Social media users were largely amused by the illustrations, but many also criticised them as bringing disrepute and “cultural annihilation” to China, speculating they were the deliberate work of western infiltrators in the education sector.

Related hashtags were viewed billions of times, embarrassing the Communist party and education authorities who announced a review of all textbooks “to ensure that the textbooks adhere to the correct political direction and value orientation”.

 
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