On September 7, the National Conference on Teacher Development 2020 was held in Beijing. Minister of Education Chen Baosheng attended the conference and delivered a speech. Vice Minister of Education Weng Tiehui chaired the meeting.
In his speech, Minister Chen noted that President Xi had reiterated the high expectations he had of the teaching workforce on a number of occasions and given instructions on teacher capacity building. He applauded the wider teacher community for their dedication and devotion, especially in their effort to switch to online teaching to an audience of 280 million students at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was instrumental in securing victory over this difficult challenge.
The minister said that the teaching workforce now generally enjoyed a higher social status while shouldering greater responsibility, as China’s education continued to improve, supported by robust institutions. He emphasized however, that the education system needed further change, especially the removal of deep-rooted structural barriers to teacher development. Further capacity building was required to create a stronger, more professional and innovation-driven teacher workforce. To this end, the minister proposed, among other things, to strengthen the moral character of teachers, invest more in teacher education, implement comprehensive reforms to the existing teacher promotion and performance assessment systems, improve the social status of teachers and introduce more teacher-friendly policies.
The conference was held online. Representatives of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, Shanghai Fengxian District Government, Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University, Nanchang University, Nanjing University and Beijing Normal University made presentations at the conference. Heads of relevant departments under the NDRC, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Human Services attended the conference at the main venue in Beijing.