BEIJING — China has issued a guideline on educational reform to improve educational fairness and quality.
The guideline, jointly released by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, said that educational reform should increase people’s “sense of gain.”
China has the largest public education sector in the world. As of the end of 2016, China had 512,000 schools and 265 million students in schools.
China has a full coverage of nine-year compulsory education. Gross enrollment rate in senior high school reached 87.5 percent in 2016, with higher education at 42.7 percent.
Experts said deepening education reform should break the barriers that impair educational fairness and should improve educational quality.
Wang Binglin, director of the higher education social science development research center under the Ministry of Education, said that China still faces problems and challenges in several areas.
“Preschools, vocational education and continuing education remain the weak links in the educational system. Teachers still cannot meet new requirements in raising quality and promoting fairness,” he said, adding that the opening up of China’s education is still inadequate.
The guideline offers measures to target such weaknesses. It encourages private investment in pre-schooling, and stresses the same standards for the building of schools in urban and rural areas.
It urges setting up a better system of assessment, supervision and support to improve special education.
The guideline also responds to key public concerns. Responding to the appeal of working parents, the document requires schools to allow students to stay longer after school so that they and their parents could arrive home at the same time. It also asks schools to offer a rich variety of after-school activities.
It promises to raise the income of teachers, noting the average salary level of teachers should be no lower than that of local civil servants.