Educators to Get More Training

The professional skills of 10 million primary and middle school teachers and nearly 1 million schoolmasters in China are expected to be upgraded during the next five years.

The Ministry of Education said the programme is expected to result in better learning programmes for students.

All primary and middle school teachers are expected to get additional professional training, said Vice-Minister of Education Lu Fuyuan at a national conference on retraining primary and middle school teachers and headmasters that opened in Shanghai.

The training is expected to encourage teachers to create more efficient teaching methods and to help them develop respect for their student's personalities and mentalities in the classrooms.

It is expected to emphasize computer-aided and other modern teaching skills, said Lu.

The conference attracted 160 officials from regional education administrations and teachers from major normal universities.

China has 700,000 primary and middle schools which are attended by 200 million students.

Since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the country has trained millions of primary and middle school teachers. These teachers have made great contributions to the popularization of the nine-year compulsory education.

Yet, with the rapid development of science and technology, students and parents are depending even more on teachers, because they will be held responsible for training a variety of specialized talents, said Lu.
He encouraged regional educational departments to introduce flexible training methods for teachers.

The ministry will soon implement a regulation to advance the retraining campaign.

According to the regulation, primary and middle school teachers will be required to receive training courses every five years.

Teachers will receive their normal salaries during their studies.
They are expected to take examinations after the completion of retraining. Exam results will be part of assessments for promotions, according to the regulation.

Teachers and headmasters who are found unqualified after receiving retraining will be dismissed from their posts. Those who work in departments other than education may be recruited as teachers if they meet teaching qualifications, said Lu.

The State will allocate 130 million yuan (US$16 million) over the next two years to fund the retraining project, according to the ministry's Teacher Training Department.

Training programmes were mainly used to improve teachers who had insufficient educational backgrounds during the Seventh Five-Year Plan (1986-1990). During the Eighth Five-Year Plan (1991-1995), teachers were required to receive updated information.

(China Daily 09/15/1999)

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