Premier Li Keqiang pressed for implementation of a mandatory pay scale for teachers in compulsory education at an executive meeting of the State Council on July 30, dispatching an ultimatum to the regions procrastinating in this regard.
“Education, especially compulsory education, matters a great deal to the long-term development of both the country and the people. Therefore, local authorities across the board are obligated to ensure that the average pay for teachers won’t go lower than their civil servant counterparts,” the Premier said.
After hearing a report on the supervision of teachers’ salary issue, Premier Li said that any region that fails to meet the wage standard set by the Compulsory Education Law should correct it as soon as possible. All regions should report to the ministries of education and finance on a regular basis, and the State Council will conduct related inspections in due course.
“Further efforts are in order, to bring in professionals, especially those who specialize in compulsory education. A benign social vibe of respecting teaching should be further cemented, promoting the appeal and prospects of this career,” he said.
Optimizing the utilization system of educational funds was also decided at the meeting. China’s fiscal educational expenditures remained at 4 percent of the GDP over the past few years, which substantially boosting the all-around development of education with the corresponding investment mechanism consistently improving.
“Despite the enormous investment in education, when it comes to expenditures, it’s a pressing matter to massively prioritize compulsory education and optimize expenditures in education, in a bid to facilitate fair and high-quality educational development,” the Premier said.
Other duties and tasks should be promptly sorted, which are issues of people’s concerns, such as dropout control, overcrowded classrooms, and education for left-behind children, Premier Li added.
A decision was made at the meeting that all regions should put together fundamental benchmarks for educational expenditures for students in all grades and for fiscal appropriations, and establish a dynamic adjustment mechanism.
Existing financial education funds should be guaranteed and incremental education funds should be used to support poverty-stricken areas and children from impoverished families.
Apart from optimizing the education expenditure system and keeping compulsory education teachers’ pay up to standard, the Ministry of Education should also regulate the hiring quotas for teachers, and ensure teachers with equal contributions are equally paid, Premier Li said.