Universal Primary Education, China, People's Republic of China
This paper explores China's trajectory towards achieving universal primary education by tracing the historical foundations of educational inequalities between rural and urban China to the period before the formation of the People's Republic of China, when the national government only supported national schools while the local communities supported village schools due to limited educational resources. In fact, before the founding of the People's Republic of China, the education policy in China was very backward, the ratio of employment for school-age primary school children was a meager 20%; this meant that more than 80% of the population was illiterate (World Education Forum). The prevailing national education policy requires that 4% of the country's GDP be invested in the provision of education, which is still below the world's average of 6%, but ironically, many provinces still struggle to hit this minimum target(China Education Center Limited para.1).
Consequently, inadequate funding, largely due to the difficult socio-economic as well as environmental conditions in a majority of the provinces (particularly those found in rural China) has been and still remains the greatest challenge in the push for universal primary education. As a way forward, the government of the People's Republic of China should explore alternative policy options including a central education-funding scheme, which will redistribute national resources to ensure equal provision of educational opportunities while ironing out the obvious educational inequalities between rural and urban China(Wang para.5-6).
[...] This long-term insufficient funding and neglect of education has left close to one-fifth of the people in China illiterate. As mentioned before, throughout the 80's and 90's, national funds mainly targeted to improve the education provision on China's east coast while local governments remained in charge of the local schools. Unfortunately, the local governments have traditionally diverted educational funds to other projects that promise to yield more returns on their investments thereby leaving the state of education at the local schools in such a horrible condition. [...]
[...] This however, has taken place within the shortest period. In fact is considered as China's most ambitious education year in its history, since it passed 16 laws related to education, of which the Compulsory Education Laws mentioned above is among them(Rong and Shi 109). There were also attempts to implement a nation-wide adjustment of wages for underpaid primary school teachers, as well as attempts to correct the disproportionate investment in basic schooling, which as have been mentioned, was too little. [...]
[...] Consequently, the government of the People's Republic of China should explore alternative policy options including a central education- funding scheme, which will redistribute national resources to ensure equal provision of educational opportunities while ironing out the obvious educational inequalities between rural and urban China. Works Cited Bao-heng, Zhao. “Education in the Countryside Today.” Comparative Education 20.1 (1984): 103–106. Print. China Education Center Limited. “China Education.” China Education Center Limited. N. [...]
[...] In fact, enormous constraints still lie ahead for the educational reforms that the nation is currently undergoing. Educational promises made by the government, however, the condition of Chinese education, especially in most remote areas have remained deplorable, with some deteriorating even further. According to a study by Rong and Shi government expenditures on education programs still remained low, in fact, at less than 24 per cent throughout the 1990s. this is accredited to the actuality that most of the educational funds, approximately, one-third, are from provincial governments and local governments, which apparently, are very poor. [...]
[...] Among his notable contributions towards the achievement of universal primary education is the introduction of the National Rural policy, which exempts children from rural backgrounds from paying the compulsory education tuition and fees. Additionally, the national implementation of Free Teachers Education policy under the Ministry of Education in the country has greatly enhanced the progress towards universal primary education by cultivating outstanding schoolteachers and educators thereby ensuring that teaching talents in the countryside are not lost. Other major policy formulations in the country have also been implemented to fast track the progress towards universal primary education, detailing the government's present commitment to provide special financial as well as any other kind of assistance that would promote the establishment of free education (Bao-heng104). [...]
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