A father in Jiangxi saw that the furniture his daughter used in her classroom was too old. So he spent more than $1,400 (10,000 yuan) to replace the tables and chairs for the whole class. 

This simple story has unexpectedly become a hot search on Weibo, sparking discussions between two opposing opinions. There have been more than 95 million views and 72 million comments on this topic.

According to mainland media, the father, Zeng, is from Nankang District, Ganzhou City, and his daughter is in 2nd grade at a local elementary school. Zeng noticed the school’s old desks and chairs when her daughter entered first-grade last year.

Zeng said, “It’s all made of wood. I don’t know how many years it has been used. The table top is not very smooth; it’s not convenient to do homework. The stool has no backrest, so it’s not very comfortable to sit on.”

Zeng said he felt sorry for his daughter and worried that the furniture would be uncomfortable and affect her studies. So he asked the school if they could replace them.

“At that time, I discussed with the s chool leadership whether the school could change the tables and chairs. If not, I will pay for my daughter’s class to change.”

However, The school did not replace the classroom furniture during her 1st-grade year.

At the beginning of the new semester of 2nd grade, Zeng decided to replace the tables and chairs for the whole class with his own money.

On the evening of September 20, after the students left school to go home, Zeng transported new furniture to her daughter’s classroom, moved the old furniture to the hallway, and arranged new furniture neatly in the classroom.

The video shows these new furniture sets in light blue, very friendly and comfortable.

Zeng said, “the belly of the new desk is larger, making it easier for students to pack. The stool is not only very flat but also has a backrest, has a certain elasticity, creating a very comfortable feeling when sitting.”

Zeng’s daughter was incredibly proud of her father when the teacher informed the other students about this special gift.

The Nankang District Education Bureau also responded to the incident, saying they did not know about Zeng’s donation to the school. According to the Education Department, it is enough for parents to talk to the school, not through the Education Office. The representative told the press, “Of course, we welcome this kind of loving behavior from parents.”

Parents in the class applauded Zeng’s behavior after he posted it on the internet with a short video. Parents in the class expressed their gratitude in the message section below the video. Since then, the video has received the attention of many people.

Some netizens praised the father’s act as generous and caring. But, on the contrary, others said, “This can increase the pressure on parents of other classes.”

The first line of objections said that doing so invisibly puts pressure on other parents and can set a precedent for the disguised trend of “forced gift giving” in schools.

Some people compare that students in other classes who are not donated will feel sad—assuming that these students will form materialistic cult thoughts.

Some were upset with Zeng’s actions, arguing that it would cause teachers to treat children differently. Children of parents without money may be unfairly treated.

The second line of opinions defended Zeng. They pointed out that his starting point is for the sake of his daughter and classmates, and he doesn’t overthink it.

One netizen commented, “Now doing good deeds still needs to be considered.”

Another netizen agreed with the father, saying that the quality of the school furniture was so bad that the children’s clothes were always torn when returning from school. In addition, the stools the children sat on didn’t even have a backrest, which made the parents sad.

Some commented that the father should have donated more delicately by not revealing his identity. In addition, they criticized the school, saying that this is the school’s responsibility. It shouldn’t let parents be responsible; this will gradually create a bad precedent. 

Responding to online comments, Zeng said his family’s condition is not as rich as some netizens imagine. He expressed that more than 10,000 yuan is equivalent to a month’s salary; he had to use his savings.

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