Education minister Chen Baosheng was in Butuo County in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Region of Sichuan from August 21 to 23. The Minister visited this county, which has yet to be removed from the national list of 52 poor counties, to carry out inspections and offer guidance on how to achieve poverty alleviation through education before the end of this year and ensure long-term sustainable development.
During his tour of inspections in Sichuan Province, Minister Chen observed an online livestream marketing event on the “e-Bangfu” App, an e-commerce platform for poverty relief, which helped sell agricultural specialties from Butuo County. The minister also visited a number of educational establishments in the county, including kindergartens and nursery schools, primary and secondary schools and a preschool teacher training college. His inspections focused on a wide range of issues, such as the balanced development of compulsory education, reduction of dropout rates, improvement of student dormitories and student-teacher ratios, and preschool mandarin teaching in minority-populated areas.
At a symposium on Butuo County’s poverty relief efforts, Chen listened to reports presented by local educational authorities and acknowledged the significant progress made to date in the reform of local education system. He called for greater effort to be made to achieve the final victory over poverty, and stressed the need to find a path to sustainable improvement in the quality of education.
He then proposed three targeted measures. First, exploration of multiple methods to help reduce dropout rates. These could include, using big data and IT to identify the precise number of dropouts and maintain real-time monitoring, and modifying teaching models to attract dropouts back to school to pursue their education. Second, promotion of balanced allocation of quality resources among compulsory education institutions in rural areas, and optimization of school distribution to consolidate scattered educational resources. Third, thorough measurement of action taken by all actors in relation to clear targets, as poverty eradication results will be rigidly evaluated, to ensure effectiveness and concrete outcomes that can produce diversified social benefits.