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Strengthening party leadership and offering education that meets people’s expectations

2018-09-12 08:39:00

September 10 of 2018 marked the 34th Teachers’ Day celebrated in China and bore special meaning as the national education conference was held on the same day. The General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee XI Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the conference, acclaiming teachers and educators nationwide on behalf of the CPC Central Committee. Xi stressed in his speech that, the education sector should adhere to the direction of socialist education and follow the path of socialist education with Chinese characteristics under the strong leadership of the Party, by fully implementing the Party’s educational policies and enhancing Marxist ideological guidance in schools. He also called upon those engaged in education to, based on national conditions and educational principles, continue their efforts to reform and innovate, and nurture a skilled and rounded youth prepared to join the socialist cause.

The Party’s masterplan for education development has been unfolding since 1985, when the general guidelines for “education serving socialist development and socialist development relying on education” were first established. In 1994, “achieving basic coverage of the nine-year compulsory education system and basic eradication of illiteracy among young adults” was made a top educational priority. In 1999 the Party clarified the significance of the comprehensive promotion of fundamental education, and in 2010 the Outline of the Mid-to-Long Term Plan for Educational Reform and Development was issued, unveiling a new educational roadmap to 2020. At the recent national education conference, higher goals were set: accelerating the modernization of education, empowering the nation through education, and offering quality education that met people’s expectations.

Education will form the springboard for China to achieve its desired step-chance in social and economic development. At the recent national education conference, General Secretary Xi reviewed the progress made in education since the 18th CPC National Congress, while emphasizing educational development. He underscored the need for those in education to prepare for a new paradigm and fresh challenges, and the need to concentrate efforts in 9 areas: (1) ensuring full Party leadership, (2) strengthening the foundation built on moral education, (3) prioritizing educational development, (4) setting education in a socialist direction, (5) development of education rooted in China, (6) people-oriented progress, (7) deepening educational reform and innovation, (8) fulfilling the goal of revitalizing the Chinese nation, and (9) focusing on teacher development.

These areas signal the direction given by the Party to further develop education in China and provide essential guidance for future work. Those working in education are reminded of their duty to conscientiously study and implement the spirit of Xi’s statement, using the XI Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a New Era as a navigation chart to guide their efforts in carrying out the Party’s strategies and exploring new ground in educational development.

Given the historic nature of the current era, the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics is entering a new chapter. Expectations in education are rising and new challenges emerging due to China’s growing national power and international status, which requires more rounded education and greater social progress.

The goal of education is to nurture new generations of rounded, skilled youth prepared to join the socialist cause while upholding the Party’s leadership and the socialist system, which is a fundamental goal in socialist education. As highlighted in Xi’s statement, education is also expected to provide a solid grounding to produce highly skilled graduates who have also been given thorough moral training, to reflect these new challenges and thus open a major new area of research for those working in education.

From the basics of education to evaluation standards and implementation measures, General Secretary Xi has provided clear pointers and specific targets for education to achieve in this new era. Reaching these ambitious goals would require perseverance, sacrifice and diligence on the part of every teacher and educator.

Xi also stated that teachers were engineers of the human soul and disseminators of human civilization. While the Party promotes respect for the teaching profession in society, the education sector itself has to spare no effort to improve the political, social and financial status of teachers and encourage them to make greater contribution to education and to realizing the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

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