On February 28, the MOE Party Leadership Group (PLG) issued a notice demanding the education system take all necessary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-2019) and further implement educational reforms.
The PLG required in the notice that educational departments and institutions at all levels take all required measures and precautions to prevent the propagation of the virus, under the leadership of the local Party Committee and government, including continuing to suspend the opening of schools. It especially requested educational departments in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, to adhere to the strictest standards in implementing required measures. As schools across the country had been requested to put all the classes online, they were now encouraged explore effective and innovative teaching methods and practices to make the best use of virtual learning.
The PLG emphasized that schools should not be opened until the epidemic was largely under control and unless the safety of students and teachers could be fully guaranteed. Without the approval of the provincial education department, off-campus training institutions were forbidden to carry out tutoring activities. HEIs were requested to track students’ whereabouts and health status, set aside quarantine facilities for returning students and arrange for students to take turns to return.
The notice also required taking measures to deepen supply-side structural reforms in the field of education, facilitate the smooth graduation of college graduates and their early employment, secure success in poverty alleviation through education, and build an education system that serves lifelong learning for all. Noting the importance of upholding Party leadership in COVID-2019 prevention and control and educational reforms,the PLG urged Party members in the education system to learn from the lessons of this outbreak and fill gaps in the ability to address public health emergencies, in order to build a modern educational governance system.