The State Council plans to provide 360 hours of training to 3.3 million rural teachers over the next five years.
“The government will offer training to meet the varying needs of rural teachers,” said Xu Tao, director of the teacher’s work bureau under the Ministry of Education, at a press conference on Dec 7.
“We will provide distance learning or send professionals to rural areas, while also establishing development centers,” Xu said.
China has more than 15 million teachers. There has, historically, been a disparity in teaching quality between urban and rural areas because of imbalanced economic and social development.
Despite government funding, the gap between urban and rural areas has not be bridged.
Xu said the ministry would encourage local governments to employ and train more native-rural teachers, provide living allowances for all rural teachers in impoverished areas, and encourage local governments to offer life insurance and medical insurance to boost recruitment.