At a press conference on September 24, the MOE released a document entitled Circular Regarding Adding More Vigor to Primary and Middle School Management, accompanied by a detailed explanation of the document. Lv Yugang, Director-General of the MOE’s Department of Basic Education (DBE), Yu Weiyue, Deputy Director-General of the DBE, Liu Qiang, Director of the Education Bureau of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and Zhang Hairong, Director of the Education Bureau of Jinzhong, Shanxi Province, attended the conference, while MOE spokesperson Xu Mei served as moderator.
Lv Yugang stated that the Circular introduced targeted policy measures to solve four major problems reported by schools.
(1) Excessive control over schools. New measures would ensure autonomous school governance, giving schools adequate autonomy over teaching, human resources and funding allocation.
(2) Lack of incentives. Efforts would be made to introduce incentives for more rigorous school management, by increasing the role of comprehensive assessment and improving the performance-based incentive systems for teachers, especially frontline teachers and class tutors demonstrating substantial results in teaching and education.
(3) Lack of assurances. Capacity building in terms of support to school management would be strengthened, with an emphasis on selecting outstanding principal candidates, providing greater relevant assurances and exploring more non-state resources. More specifically, a sound incentive mechanism would be put in place, with a more rational scheme for financial incentives and a priority on schools that outperform the rest in educational quality improvement, while larger efforts will be made to celebrate and publicize the work of excellent principals and teachers, and give higher honors and material rewards to teachers with senior professional titles who work in the frontline of teaching until retirement and have a high level of performance on the job, especially those working in remote, poverty-stricken rural areas.
(4) Incomplete governance mechanism. School governance mechanisms would be complemented by improving the macro-level management, internal governance and public supervision of schools.