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Where there are teachers, there is hope

By Zhang Zhouxiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-10 16:39

A newly-enrolled pupil learns to write a Chinese character "Ren" (meaning "human" in English) during an opening ceremony on the school opening day in Leidian town of Deqing county in Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province, Aug 29, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tuesday was the 35th Teachers’ Day for China. While sending our wishes to teachers all over the nation, we call for special attention to be paid to teachers in rural areas deserve special attention, because they live and work in more difficult conditions compared with their urban counterparts.

According to surveys and investigations conducted by Xinhua News Agency, even in 2015 some of the rural primary schools didn’t have electricity or tap water. Worse, teachers in rural areas usually get lower pay than their urban counterparts, as teachers’ salaries are partly related to the local financial conditions. Also, training opportunities for them are few and promotions rare.

No wonder many college graduates don’t want take up such a job. A Xinhua survey held in August showed only 38 percent college students were willing to become a rural teacher after graduation. As a result, many rural areas face a shortage of teachers. In the same Xinhua survey, 75.6 percent of the respondents said their hometowns and the villages nearby face this problem.

Yet the quality of education in rural areas needs to be improved. Data from the Ministry of Education show there are 7 million “left-behind children” in the countryside. Without receiving quality education, such children cannot hope to get a good job, which will further widen the urban-rural gap in the overall development level.

The key to solving this problem lies in strengthening rural education. In order to do that, more favorable policies should be introduced including subsidies to raise the salaries of rural teachers and allocating more funds to build or refurbish rural schools. Such measures will encourage college graduates to work as teachers in rural areas.

Where there are teachers, there is hope. Let us hope teachers in rural areas will get the special attention and higher pay they deserve.


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