On September 25 and 26, Minister of Education cum Secretary of the Leading Party Group for the MOE Chen Baosheng conducted field investigations regarding targeted poverty alleviation in Wei County, Hebei Province and hosted a work conference on the MOE’s targeted poverty alleviation and cooperation work linking industry and education. Vice Governor of Hebei Province Xu Jianpei attended and spoke at the conference.
During his stay in Wei County, Minister Chen visited the No. 2 Middle School to see firsthand their work on epidemic prevention and control, implementation of reforms to informatize education, along with other initiatives underway. He also attended the launching ceremony for a “July 1” Educational Base, which was built with the support of the MOE, inspected a rural revitalization workshop offering training to secretaries of village Party committees and an Office for Experts co-established by local government and universities, and visited teachers in need.
On the work conference, Chen listened to reports on the developments in poverty eradication through education, how the MOE was targeting poverty reduction, and the role of industry-school cooperation in the revitalization of the countryside. The Minister acknowledged the substantive results achieved in the Wei County since it had been lifted out of poverty and went on to stress the need to take advantage of current trends and opportunities at this critical historical period of poverty elimination and rural revitalization, by making long-term plans for the implementation of the national revitalization strategy, and to fully realize the 13th Five-year Plan while preparations were made for the upcoming 14th Five-year Plan, focusing on the task of poverty alleviation through education and breaking the intergenerational poverty cycle.
Chen underscored the need to give further consideration to the role of education once poverty had been eradicated nationwide, and once the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects had been achieved. Specifically, (1) measures to control dropout rates needed to be normalized to ensure the continued decline in the number of students dropping out of school; (2) the average school conditions in compulsory education needed to continue to improve while the urban-rural educational gap would need to be further reduced; (3) more quality educational resources needed to be shared between urban and rural compulsory education schools to promote education equality; (4) educational reforms needed to be implemented more broadly and more thoroughly to meet diversified needs at all levels; (5) resource allocation needed to be centralized to optimize the use of educational inputs, with an emphasis on vocational education and teachers’ wellbeing; and (6) the focus of educational inputs needed to shift from “hardware”, such as infrastructure and equipment, to “software”, including capacity building in teachers, pedagogical reform, all-round training, course development, and so on.
Vice Governor Xu Jianpei stated that the MOE’s targeted poverty reduction efforts in Wei County, especially those supportive measures and assistance to promote in-depth industry-school cooperation, guide innovation and development in vocational education, and provide thematic training on rural revitalization, had facilitated the county’s industry upgrade and instilled vigor to local innovation and development. The Hebei Provincial Government would carry on the rest of MOE’s poverty reduction tasks to lay a solid foundation for future work.
Following the work conference, a project matchmaking meeting was held, where 8 colleges signed agreements on targeted assistance and industrial-academic cooperation with the Wei County People’s Government.