Education provisions in rural China

17 Feb

In Shanghai roughly 1,000 additional cars are registered every day, bought by those who have risen up the social ladder. Moving to the cities and urban areas is the aspiration of many in China; parents looking for work, children wanting a better education and teachers yearning for a more challenging and satisfying career. But what happens to the children left in the rural parts of China?

For an increasingly isolated rural population, communities are seeing their futures hit the road on the backs of families seeking further opportunity. In an effort to combat this, the Chinese government has taken action to amalgamate schools in villages and rural settlements in close proximity to each other. Action such as this is difficult to establish, and even harder to maintain; but the consolidation is believed to provide an influx of teachers and other services. The process, unlike all other action taken by China, is predicted to progress in baby-steps.

One school that has been established under the programme is Qiao Tou Lian He School. About 1,900 miles South West of Shanghai, this quaint elementary school boasts 714 pupils and 29 staff. Indeed, the teacher-to-pupil ratio is far from desirable, but at the heart of the school is a family-like community. As it lies several hours walk from most of the children’s homes, they are provided with dorms of residence, including a bed and area in which to store their belongings. A parental-style attitude is adopted by many of the older pupils who are tasked with recording the hygiene and discipline of the younger pupils; alongside offering emotional and social support, what with increased periods of absence of an adult presence (with only one teacher available to attend the dorms outside of teaching hours). The older children try their utmost to do well by their younger charges.

An ever-changing world means education systems around the globe are seeking ways in which to make students more resilient. Allowing them to try, fail, adapt, learn and evolve are all components needed to build outstanding character in children. Qioa Tou Lian He School are in good stead to achieve this, even at what some may consider a great cost.

The teachers feel the cost of isolation, too. Unlike the many in their profession eager to ditch the humdrum of rural life and be thrust into a city school, these teachers are committed to these children. Their ambitions are to inspire their pupils to be ambitious.

The infancy of Qiao Tou Lian He School resonates the infancy of the Chinese governments programme. However, unlike other government action, this scheme will take time, but the now that provisions are beginning to fall in to place, as proven by Qiao Tou Lian He School, the Chinese education system is due to see synchronising standards between the rural schools and those in Shanghai and Honk Kong.

By Joseph Curran

 

References:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26073747 (13/02/14)

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