Press Releases

Teacher workforce boosted in both size and quality nationwide


The Ministry of Education (MOE) held a press conference on Sept. 6 to present achievements made in teacher workforce development since 2012. The event was moderated by MOE spokeswoman Xu Mei.

Ren Youqun, Director-general of MOE’s Department of Teacher Education, said at the conference that tremendous progress had been made in building a stronger teaching body in multiple dimensions, including size, quality, innovation, teacher benefit, and institutional support.

The teacher workforce is larger and better-trained than it was ten years ago. The total number of full-time teachers grew from 14.6 million in 2012 to 18.4 million in 2021, marking an increase of 26%. The proportion of high-caliber teachers increased across the board: 70.3% of primary school teachers hold a bachelor’s degree or above, compared to 32.6% in 2012; over 50% of vocational school teachers have double certificates (a teaching license and a professional certificate); and the number of postgraduate supervisors also experienced an upsurge, with 195,000 more for master’s students and 63,000 more for Ph.D. students.

To strengthen teachers’ professional ethics, a number of more rigorous regulations have been issued and enforced. A national steering committee was established to develop demonstration bases and hold regular workshops to promote ethical teaching. A list of negative behaviors was defined, and serious violations may now result in a ban on participating in the profession.

A teacher training mechanism has been established and improved. It is supported by 215 teacher training colleges and 510 other universities, which jointly offer training, graduate, and postgraduate programs to teachers at different levels.

A comprehensive reform has been carried out in teacher management across the country. A harmonized staffing standard was introduced and innovative measures adopted in applying the standard. The teacher certification mechanism has been improved, with the number of applicants soaring to 11.4 million this year, up from 172,000 a decade ago. Teacher evaluation has been intensively reformed to highlight ethics and the tangible outcomes of teaching, instead of just looking at how many academic papers have been published, or what kind of academic degrees, prizes or titles have been granted. In addition, primary and middle school teachers have increasingly been relieved of irrelevant tasks, allowing them to focus on teaching instead of other matters.