Beijing: A university in China's southern Hunan province has forced its female students to cover themselves in blankets in the hot sun as a punishment during the school's compulsory military training.
College of Foreign Studies in Changsha ordered a group of 20 students to lie down on a paved athletic track and cover themselves in heavy quilts as a form of punishment during the school's compulsory military training programme.
A school official defended the punishment given by the instructor, saying that the drill lasted "only five minutes."
"The weather was good and temperatures were below 32 C," Xie Yong, deputy director of the college's student work department was quoted as saying by the state-run Global Times.
More than 30 students, mostly young men, were also required to wrap themselves in blankets and wear a plastic bucket on their head as they ran laps, said Xie.
The students were subjected to the penalty as more than 2,000 others participating in the military training watched.
"It's really miserable and embarrassing (to be punished) in front of thousands of people," a student said.
A university student Hu Ling said more extreme measures are understandable as many of the students need to be toughened up.
"They don't do what they're told because they're pampered at home," said Hu."The instructors are being strict for our own good."
"Such punishment is not appropriate for girls on an emotional level," said Xie, who explained the school will arrange counselling for the students involved.
Drills and disciplinary action are part of China's military education program, which requires all university freshman to undergo stints of training designed to toughen up students and foster patriotism.