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Yunnan Elementary Schools to Introduce English

The Basic Education Conference of Yunnan Province in China’s southwest held in the capital of Kunming city in November put forward goals to accelerate basic all-round education that included introducing English in all elementary schools in provincial towns by the end of 2003.

Other stated goals:

-- Provide basic education for 85 percent of all people in the province’s 85 counties and make sure that in 29 counties all people receive nine-years of compulsory education.

-- Help abolish illiteracy among one million young and middle-aged people by reducing the illiteracy rate among them to less than 5 percent.

-- Abolish illiteracy in 23 counties.

-- Assure that 38 percent of school-age people are entering senior high school and that seven years of education becomes the average time spent in school throughout the province by the end of the year 2005.

The province also plans to build another 35 senior high schools, 200 junior high schools, 800 elementary schools and 200 kindergartens during the 10th Five-year Plan period as well as to insure that equipment in all schools meets provincial standards.

A new curriculum project also is planned for the whole province. Elementary schools in towns will begin classes in English class starting in the third grade by the end of 2003 and the National Basic Education Curriculum Reform will be implemented before 2005.

A province-wide basic education information network will be constructed over four years and one-third of the elementary schools and two-thirds of the middle schools will link to a modern long-distance education network. The province will open an educational TV channel and build the basic information technologies educational data bank. Meanwhile, all middle schools and some elementary schools will open information technology classes by the end of 2005.

The provincial government will earmark 2.2 billion yuan to renovate school buildings, further compulsory education in poor areas and promote basic education during the 10th Five-year Plan period. More over, the province will enhance the quality of its teachers and ensure that their salaries are paid on time.

(Chen Xiaobo for 云南日报 [Yunnan Daily] November 10, 2001, translated by Feng Yikun for china.org.cn)

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