China will carry out various measures, including salary increases, to improve the image of teaching as an honorable occupation, a senior official said on March 3.
Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said the central government attaches great importance to upgrading the social status of teachers, especially those in primary and middle schools.
The authority will raise teacher salaries to make sure that their income is not lower than the average level of civil servants in the same area, Chen said.
“We will complete the mechanism to ensure teachers’ income and subsidize those who work in schools in rural and poor areas,” he said on the sidelines of the ongoing session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
In addition, the government will make efforts to recruit more teachers through college education and strengthening the training of current teachers.
“In the past, we put money more into facilities and equipment for schools. In the future, we will put a big share of finances on people in the education sector,” Chen said.
Parents of primary school students are facing difficulties taking care of their children after 3:30 pm, when the youngsters leave school while they are still at work.
Chen said 25 provincial-level regions have taken steps to guide the school and communities to solve the problem together.
Shanghai’s local authority required schools to provide after-school services to take care of children at school. Beijing provides subsidies of 700 yuan ($110) to 900 yuan per month for each student for after-school service.
Some other provinces promote flexible time for children to leave school or call for communities to take care of them after school.
Chen said the measures are all effective and innovative while they also have led to new problems, such as the added cost for teachers who take responsibility for after-school service.
“We will discuss this with related departments and solve problems together,” he said.