In its 13th Five-Year-Plan (2016-2020), China placed greater emphasis on basic education, not only to ensure access to education but also improve its quality.
I am very happy to see that more and more innovative explorations and experiments are being made in the area of basic education. For example, measures have been made to streamline and integrate curriculum. Some primary schools allow students to take elective courses and move between classrooms, instead of taking only required courses in one classroom. The current pedagogical and curriculum reforms will surely facilitate the all-round development of our children.
In our school, curriculum is reorganized to better foster students’ core competencies and promote their autonomy. Students begin classes at 9:00. The bell between classes and the school-wide physical activity break are cancelled. Long classes alternate with short classes. The previous 10-odd subjects have been streamlined to seven subjects, i.e. morality and the rule of law, Chinese language, English, math, P.E., science and art. A diversity of extra-curriculum activities are held, such as debate contests and story-telling contests. Students are encouraged to join after school clubs. The implementation of the above measures have brought about encouraging results. Students become more confident, energetic, and healthy, while achieving better academic results. In 2018, our school become the first education institution that is conferred the China Quality Award.
This heartening changes in our school represent on a smaller scale the great reforms that have been sweeping through China’s national basic education. Over the past five years, China’s compulsory education has seen remarkable progress. By the end of 2020, 200,000 registered drop-out students in compulsory education had returned to school, and the gross enrollment ratio for senior high school reached 91.2%, exceeding the goal of 90% set by central government. Policies were also formulated to give greater autonomy to primary and junior high schools, including in the areas of teaching arrangements, teacher recruitment, and the use of school funding.
This year, I submitted a proposal to the NPC and put forward the following recommendations: 1) providing more favorable policies to preschool education and compulsory education; 2) further increasing spending on education; 3) optimizing the allocation of education funding.