Chinese Elementary Students Napping On Top Of School Desks

Elementary Students Taking A Nap On Their Classroom Desks

Elementary Students Taking A Nap On Their Classroom Desks

From Sina:

Elementary School Having Children Nap on School Desks Year-Round Causes Heated Discussion

“I inadvertently came across photos of children sleeping on their school desks and benches for their noon nap, and it was titled ‘Sweet Dreams’.” This weibo post with pictures attached by netizen “爆炒油菜” recently received widespread attention from netizens.

“爆炒油菜” says these are photos posted on the website of Gaoxin No.1 Elementary School in Xi’an City. In the photos, the children in a classroom lie on their sides on school desks and chairs all facing the blackboard, most of them already asleep. In regards to the title of “Sweet Dreams” used by the school, netizen “爆炒油菜” asked, “Are you sure using various awkward positions to sleep on school desks and benches is really comfortable in it is comfortable and can result in good sleep?”

Elementary Students Taking A Nap On Their Classroom Desks

Netizens: Sleeping on school desks is a tradition

“爆炒油菜”’s question incited all kinds of concerns and worries from weibo netizens. Netizen “食梦兽之家” said, “Sleeping like this, even the strongest spines will be ruined”. Netizen “O压力山大” said, “Sleeping like this, what d we say when they get a cold?” Netizen “天降于斯V” in the meantime worried, “Isn’t there a danger of them turning over in their sleep and falling off?” Netizen “虫虫爱小草” showed even more concerns, saying “Our kid is going to elementary school soon and we’re sad too [thinking he’ll have to experience this].” Afterward, netizen “孙见坤” pointed out, “Gaoxin No. Elementary School has been having noon naps like this since over 10 years ago, I graduated from there in 2004.”

School: Noon naps have the approval of the parents

This reporter contacted the Teaching Affairs Office of the Gaoxin No. 1 Elementary School yesterday about this matter. Gao, a teacher, responded, “Children having a noon nap on the desks have the parents’ support.” Gao explained that since lunch time is at 12:10 pm, and classes begin at 2:00 pm, there is not be enough time for parents to pick up and take their children home to rest. “Whereas resting on the desks can ensure that the children are will feel more fresh in the afternoon.”

In response to what netizens said online, Gao said frankly that Gaxin No. 1 Elementary School has been having noon naps like this ever since the school opened, no matter what season of the year it is, and never has there been a situation where a child has fallen off a desk. “We have strict rules, while kids are taking a nap, there is always a teacher there watching them.”

Gao also said that whenever the new semester begins, the school will always remind parents to prepare a little pillow and blanket for their kids for noon naps. “If the parents are able to pick up and drop off their child, they can also apply to the school to take their kids back home to rest at noon.”

Elementary Students Taking A Nap On Their Classroom Desks

Parents: No time to pick up child at noon

Ms. Wu’s child is in third grade at Gaoxin No. 1 Elementary School. Ms. Wu says when her child started first grade, she too was rather worried about this kind of noon naps, but now that two years have passed, she hasn’t heard of any children falling off the desks. “In fact, the desks are placed rather close together, and there is also a teacher watching them, so there shouldn’t be any problems.”

“The desks are very hard, so sleeping like this isn’t really good, but there is no other way.” Ms. Wu’s home is about 10 minutes’ walking distance from the school, but Ms. Wu still chooses to have her child let her child stay in the school during the lunch break. “My child doesn’t want to sleep anymore after returning home, and has to be back at school 10 minutes earlier for class in the afternoon, so even though home is close, there’s still not much time.”

Tongtong is a little schoolgirl who has just started first grade, who is taller than most children her age. “Sleeping diagonally is the method her teacher taught her, otherwise the child won’t fit [on the desk]. The child thinks it’s fun, but it definitely must not be comfortable.” Tongtong’s mother says she has no choice, “I work in the northern suburb of the city and simply can’t take care of her during the lunch break, so I can only have her bring a pillow for her head during the noon nap time.”

Fourth grader Wu Pengyu can go home for his lunch breaks this semester, because Wu’s father’s current company is not far from the school, so he’s able to pick him up and drop him off at noon. Wu Pengyu says he doesn’t like napping on the desk, because it is “uncomfortable, and too hard”. Wu’s father says he too previously worried his child sleeping at school wasn’t safe, but ultimately whether parents have time is the most important.

Elementary Students Taking A Nap On Their Classroom Desks

Experts: Recommend beds be provided for noon naps

Differing from the questions of others, netizen “孙媛媛SYF” expressed a different point of view on napping on school desks, “School desks and benches are like a hard-board bed, and sleeping on hard-board beds are actually good for your spine. ”

So are school desks and benches the same as hard-board beds? This reporter then consulted Professor Ma Wei who works at Department of Orthopedics of No.1 Affiliated Hospital, Medical College of Xi’an Jiaotong University. Professor Ma said the school desks and benches are too narrow and can’t be called beds at all. “If the children sleep on their sides on the school desks too much over time, it’ll cause uneven muscle strength and lateral spinal deformities in the long run.”

Professor Ma suggested, for the children’s health, it’d be best if the school could provide beds for noon naps, to replace the tradition of having children napping on desks.

Comments from Sina Weibo :


I used to take a nap this way back when I was in elementary school, didn’t expect the same situation now. Has society had any progress at all?


It isn’t such a big deal, I used to take a nap on the bench, on the floor, and even in the graveyard on the mountain near our school.


How is that strange? It was the same when we were small. How many schools can provide rooms for you to take a noon nap? People these days are are too pampered and spoiled.


We can set up a research & development department, [to figure out how] to use the space of a classroom, [to figure out how] to integrate desks and beds, [so] three desks can fit into a 1.8 square meter space, with a top, middle, and bottom bunk, so when it isn’t nap time it can be used as a desk. Find a foreign furniture designer, it can totally be done!!!


Too much concern and love becomes pampering and spoiling. Schools are for kids to learn how to overcome problems and difficulties, not for enjoyment.


Is the reporter asking the school to provide beds? Never seen the schools where there aren’t even desks?


We used to sleep this way in the past too, sometimes we’d even just put a sleeping mat on the ground to sleep on. But that was 30 years ago.


It was approved of by the parents? Are those parents mentally normal?


I feel sorry for these little kids.


I for one fucking don’t believe there is a teacher watching them!


Go report some normal [real] news!


At least it is better than those fucking miserable elementary students in Shanghai. Whose decision was it to not give time for noon naps?

What do you think? Is this a big deal? Or not a big deal?


Written by Li Hao


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