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Shanghai Schools Open to Foreign Students

All schools in downtown Jing'an District of Shanghai will be open to foreign students by 2006, officials with Jing'an Education Bureau said yesterday.


Expatriates or overseas Chinese holding a residence card in Jing'an will be able to send their children to any of the district's 34 primary and secondary schools.


"As Jing'an aims to develop into a world-class residential area, education facilities should catch up," said Xu Chengbo, the bureau director.


Schools in Shanghai licensed to accept foreign students must have been operating for three years, have advanced teaching facilities, and a bilingual faculty team.


Shanghai education Commission says 12 primary and secondary schools in Jing'an already hold a foreign-student admission license, with about 300 overseas children studying there.


Normally, foreigners can either send their children to international schools in the city for Western-style education, or let them study with their local peers.


"I prefer to send my son to local public schools where he could get genuine Chinese education and better communication with his peers," said Binsun Fan, a Japanese-Chinese who is running a trade company in the city.


Fan admitted he doubted whether his son fully understood the lessons.


Zhou Zhigang, deputy headmaster of Jing'an Foreign Language School, said his school was very willing to accept overseas students.


"But the problem is that teachers are relatively weak and not capable of teaching in English," he said.


The district spends 10 million yuan to send 20 headmasters and teachers abroad each year for six months' training.


(eastday.com February 28, 2004)


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