The State Council has released a circular on guidelines to improve construction of schools in villages and towns, in an effort to balance public services and revitalize the countryside.
Small-scale schools in villages, with no more than 100 students, and boarding schools in towns are the focus of the circular.
The goal is to develop rural education with better school layout, more public resource supply, and improved quality of teaching.
It requires schools in villages be built near children’s homes. Generally, it suggests students in first to third grade not board at school, with commuting times of no more than half an hour.
For better layout, small-scale schools with few students can be merged with other schools, while setting a transitional period.
The circular urged improvement in school facilities, such as basic information technology equipment, facilities for arts and sports curriculum, better sanitation services, and transportation and safety infrastructure.
In addition, more incentives should be introduced to encourage high-quality teachers to pursue careers in rural areas. And training programs for exchanges and mutual learning between rural and urban teachers should be carried out, according to the circular.
The circular called for local governments to invest more in these schools, and promote an Internet Plus education strategy, installing networks and providing them with rich online teaching resources.