Shanxi moves to guarantee basic rural education


North China's Shanxi province has in recent years strengthened guarantees for its overall education system by improving the administration, teaching quality and services at its schools, to enable children in poor areas to receive a good education. 

The local education authorities have reportedly established and improved surveys of the education system. They have been proactive in persuading children to return to school, as well as in such fields as resettlements and school consolidation. 

In particular, at the end of 2020, the Shanxi Provincial Education Department and another 10 departments jointly implemented initiatives on controlling student dropouts and providing education guarantees, with a long-term management mechanism established. To date, Shanxi has included 5,979 people in its records for dropout controls, with 3,253 pupils returning to school. 

Apart from ensuring that all school-age children go to school, the province has since 2014 consistently moved to improve the conditions for running schools at the basic education level in 98 counties. 

From 2019 to 2020, a total of 1,054 boarding schools in townships and villages were built and renovated. 

Meanwhile, the province has reportedly undertaken measures to enable more school-age children and adolescents to receive high-quality education. 

It has promoted management reforms of teachers working in basic education, strengthening communications between principals and teachers and adding 3,000 top teachers annually to rural areas. 

Additionally, more than 6,000 schools across the province have further extended reforms of basic education administration models. All primary and middle schools now have access to the internet, facilitating the sharing of educational resources. 

The service guarantees have also kept pace with the improvement of teaching quality. The province has established a student funding system covering pre-school education to higher education, public and private schools, as well as students from families with financial difficulties. 

Since 2016, 950 million yuan ($149.11 million) in funds at national and provincial levels have been allocated for basic education, helping out 1.29 million beneficiaries. 

"We will strive to realize a virtuous circle of rural education revitalization and revitalization of the countryside," said Ren Yuezhong, an official at the Shanxi Provincial Education Department.

This year, Shanxi plans to build and renovate 500 boarding schools, as well as to promote the development of the Shanxi Shared Cloud Classroom program.

It will recruit 3,800 teachers for special posts and expand the scope of the nutrition improvement plan for rural students at the basic education stage.