A netizen browses the website of EF Education First (EF) on his computer in Ji'nan city, east China's Shandong province. Photo: AFP

Seven foreign teachers and nine foreign students were among 19 suspects arrested after a drug raid on a English language school in Jiangsu province, police said.

The suspects were arrested for allegedly taking illicit substances after officers from the Quanshan Branch of the Xuzhou Public Security Bureau of Jiangsu Province eastern-central coastal China, raided the school on July 10. They all tested positive for drug use during detention, the Paper reported.

According to official sources, the foreign nationals involved in the case were language teachers from a private educational institution, believed to be the EF Education First at the Xuzhou Center.

The alleged institution confirmed with the Voice of China that some of their teachers were tied to the case and the education center has been cooperating with law enforcement’s criminal investigation. An internal investigation is also believed to be taking place at the school.

According to a spokesperson from EF Education First, the four centers in Xuzhou EF Youth English are currently operating as usual and students’ learning or curriculum had not been affected.

EF Education First has a zero tolerance policy for teachers’ misconduct. It is against their guidelines for an employee to possessed or take controlled drugs or substances. An immediate termination of employment would be effective if EF employees have committed any violations.

However, when asked if all foreign teachers at the school are approved by the government and have been issued with a valid work license, a spokesperson at the institution said they had no information in this regard.

All teaching staff from English-speaking countries should have language qualifications such as Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT).

According to an emailed statement issued by the Education First (EF) China, the language institution said it “regrets the recent incident related to our Xuzhou centers in China.”

“The alleged drug offenses were limited to seven of our teachers and did not take place during working hours or impact any students. The other individuals involved in this incident are not EF students or employees,” it said.

EF said it has a zero-tolerance policy for prohibited activities and it will take all necessary actions, including immediate termination of employment, if any teacher is found in violation. EF said it is absolutely committed to upholding the highest standards for our teachers to provide quality English training and education services to our students.

The article has been updated on July 13.

Leave a comment