On October 22, the MOE held a national work conference on integrated reform and teaching in basic education in Changzhi, Shanxi Province, offering an analysis of new circumstances and tasks faced by the sector of basic education and proposing next steps to deepen integrated reform, reinforce teaching activities and improve education quality, based on experiences learnt from local reform and teaching practices. Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education and Secretary of the MOE’s Party Leading Group, and Lin Wu, Governor of Shanxi Province and Deputy Secretary of the CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee, attended the conference and delivered a speech.
Chen stated that years of efforts had yielded fruitful results: basic education had been made available to all citizens, while people’s demand of quality education had increased manifold. To achieve quality improvement in basic education and continue innovation and creation of synergies, it was imperative to implement integrated reform, which would involve more challenges and require a good knowledge of related roles and responsibilities.
He stressed the necessity for local education authorities to focus on quality improvement by promoting more targeted and effective reform measures in basic education: (1) Reinforcement of student moral development and all-round education; (2) Cross-department coordination for devolution to schools; (3) Systematic integration toward coherence in curriculum, instruction, test and evaluation reforms; (4) Well-organized collaboration among school principals, teachers and teaching researchers; and (5) Responsibility sharing on education and cooperation between school and family, government, off-campus training institutions and the society.
Chen also called on local education authorities to fulfill their mission of basic education integrated reform and translate every decision made at the conference into action. (1) Local Party Leading Groups for Education needed to play a larger role in sector-wide coordination, incorporating key tasks as a priority into the next 5-year educational planning. (2) Supervision and accountability needed to be strengthened by including work progress as an evaluation indicator to ensure all requirements were fully met. (3) Communication and publicity of relevant policy measures needed to be stepped up by accumulating typical experience and effective practices and creating an enabling environment for the reform of education.
On behalf of the CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee and Shanxi Government, Lin expressed appreciation to the longstanding support of the MOE. He said that Shanxi Government had been striving to meet people’s needs for better education, which had always been at the top of its agenda for basic education reform. It had carried out the fundamental task of moral education in schools, deepening the reform in terms of equality and quality and promoting the integration of compulsory education in both urban and rural areas. Efforts had also been made to bolster the high-quality development of basic education and further the integrated reform and teaching activities in the sector, such as promotion of affordable preschool education, improvement in the quality of regular high school education, better assurance for the equal access to education of students with special needs, and increased support to children who were left behind or had disabilities.
At this conference, a Steering Committee for Teaching in Basic Education under the MOE was established, while representatives of experts on the committee were offered appointment letters. Participants from Fujian, Zhejiang, Hebei, Jiangsu, Liaoning and Hunan Provinces, Shanghai as well as Changzhi exchanged experiences with one another.
Wu Wei, Vice Governor of Shanxi Province also attended the conference, and Zheng Fuzhi, member of the MOE’s Party Leading Group and Vice Minister of Education, served as moderator. Other participants included heads from provincial-level administrative departments and educational departments, relevant divisions and directly affiliated institutions of the MOE.