On September 1, MOE held a press conference on the Accountability Measures for Educational Supervision which were officially rolled out the same day. Tian Zuyin, Director-general of the Office of the Education Supervision Commission under the State Council and Director-general of the Education Supervision Bureau of the MOE, Yang Zhicheng, State Supervisor for Education and Vice President of Capital Normal University, Fu Ming, Chief Supervisor for Education of Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and Sun Guoyou, Deputy Director for the Department of Education of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, attended the conference, while MOE spokesperson Xu Mei served as moderator.
Tian Zuyin commented that the Measures were the first regulation on supervision and accountability in education since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, aiming to substantially beef up the authority and effectiveness of supervision in the education system. Currently China has 147,000 supervisors for education at all levels around the country.
According to the Measures, local governments, relevant departments, schools and other educational institutions, as well as relevant working staff shall be held accountable for six types of activities: (1) lack of resolution and commitment in implementing national policies and decisions on education, (2) poor fulfillment of educational responsibilities, (3) serious lagging in completion of key educational tasks, (4) irregularities in running educational institutions, (5) declines in the quality of education and teaching, and (6) frequent occurrence of safety issues or refusal to cooperate in educational supervision.
Tian said that the Measures provided for interviews for the purpose of rectification, readjustments in resource distribution, and organizational punishment, which might create synergies between educational supervision and law enforcement and discipline inspection. The Measures also specified the targets, contents, methods and procedures for supervision and accountability to facilitate their standardization.
Tian added that, in 2020, all 2,846 districts and counties of China committed to achieving the goal of aligning average salaries of compulsory education teachers with those of local public servants, which was taken as a top priority that year by the Office of the Education Supervision Commission under the State Council.
In 2021, the Office of the Education Supervision Commission under the State Council put highest priority on the Double Reduction policy (a reduction homework and in extra-curricular or after-school classes) and a series of actions, including limiting the use of smartphones, ensuring sufficient sleep, supporting good reading habits, reducing the burden of homework, and improving the physical health of students. The supervisory authorities have continuously promoted the implementation of the aforementioned policy and actions, by: (1) incorporating the implementation into routine activities of the Supervisors for Education, (2) organizing State Supervisors for Education to conduct cross-cutting inspections, and (3) establishing a bimonthly reporting system on key matters. Failures to implement requirements will be directly made public, and accountability procedures will be initiated straightaway.