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China inspires urban teachers to work for rural schools
Latest Updated by 2006-03-08 10:47:51
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NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2006

 GD Provincial People's Congress & CPPCC annual Sessions

China is to encourage urban teachers to work in rural schools in order to improve the overall quality of rural education.


This policy decision follows Premier Wen Jiabao's announcement at the National People's Congress that tuition and miscellaneous fees for compulsory education will be scrapped for rural children in two years.


"This means that every child in rural areas will enjoy nine years of compulsory education," said Guan Peijun, a Ministry of Education official in charge of normal schools. To cope with this big move, China will encourage teachers from big and medium-sized cities to work in rural areas by setting up special working posts and persuade college graduates and normal school graduates of the merits of working in rural schools.


These concrete measures are urgently required by rural education lacking sufficient and qualified teachers, despite the continually increasing investment from the government, Guan said.


At present, many primary and middle schools are still short of teachers specializing in foreign languages, information technology, music, fine arts and physical education. Academic degrees held by teachers in 310,000 primary and secondary schools have not reachedt he national standard.


China has 500,000 "substitute" teachers without formal education themselves, and 75.9 percent of them are working in rural areas of western and central China, where most people still live in need due to backward economic development.


In contrast, Guan acknowledged, urban schools are quite often crowded with excellent teachers, and some excellent rural teachers also move to big cities for better treatment. In response to this, the Chinese government has given training programs to rural teachers over the past five years, which have not only improved the rural teachers' quality, but have also elevated their social status.


Statistics showed that in 2005, primary school teachers graduating from vocational training schools accounted for 56.35 percent of the total in rural areas, a jump from 27.4 percent in year 2001. In junior secondary schools, the proportion of teachers with bachelor degrees amounted to 35.31 percent from 16.95 percent in 2001. And in senior secondary schools, teachers with masters degrees accounted for 1.18 percent of the total.


Guan underscored that to attract urban teachers to work in rural schools relied on local governments' efforts. Local governments at all levels should draw clear policies on the teachers' salary, insurance, welfare and treatment, and simultaneously enhance management and supervision of the teachers.


In fact, some local governments have adopted beneficiary policies to allure excellent teachers, Guan said, adding that the efforts have achieved good and effective results.


Apart from the urban teachers, China also launched a program to dispatch excellent college graduates to teach in rural schools in 2004, Guan said. The students, all with bachelor degrees, are allowed to continue their masters in two years, after three years' service in rural schools.


Premier Wen, in his report on the work of the government, also pledged to build a new socialist countryside.


"To support the educational sector in rural areas is very crucial to this goal, and also the government's duty to grant fair education to every child," Guan stressed.


China's nine years of compulsory education, as a national campaign to level up the quality of the Chinese people, has covered 95 percent of the Chinese population with the government's efforts over the past five years.


In two years, to fully popularize compulsory education in rural areas where 900 million Chinese farmers live, will be "a milestone event" in China's educational history, as Premier Wen commented.


Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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