The China Charity Federation (CCF) and the State Testing Committee announced Thursday that they have jointly launched the "Self-Taught Candle Light Project", in a bid to train primary school teachers for western rural areas in the coming century.
The two organizations will collect 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) to allow 10,000 primary school teachers from rural areas in the country's 12 western provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to take examinations after finishing self-taught courses within eight years.
Local educational departments can select backbone primary school teachers under the age of 35 and with a minimum of three years' teaching experience to take the examination. Priority will given to teachers in mountainous areas.
The project will provide all teaching materials and exempt all application fees to qualified examinees. Since the project began in September this year, the first 1,150 examinees have been scheduled to take self taught examinations in April, 2001.
Initiated in 1998 by CCF, the Candle Light Project aims to reduce the burden of teachers in poor rural schools and improve their professional capabilities.
In 1981, China launched a national examination system for self-taught students. Since then, 3.14 million people have passed the exams and received certificates.
(People's Daily 11/16/2000)