China's education regulators have released a plan to send more than 10,000 experienced teachers to Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region and Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a move experts said could improve education in the regions.
A group of exceptional teachers will be dispatched to Tibet and Xinjiang from other regions in China each year to guide and train local teachers and help upgrade the quality of local education, according to a plan posted by the Ministry of Education on its website on Monday.
The first group of 4,000 teachers will be sent to Tibet and Xinjiang in the spring of 2018. Each group will stay in the two regions for about 18 months.
The teachers will provide a firm safeguard to the social economic development and peace in Tibet and Xinjiang, and foster qualified constructors and successors to the cause of socialism, the ministry said.
"Sending experienced teachers to Tibet and Xinjiang could help improve the education philosophy of local schools," Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.
Chu, who visited Tibet in 2014 to study local education conditions, said that exam-oriented education is still the main focus in the southwest region, as opposed to quality education that had been promoted in other parts of China.
The plan will mainly focus on science teachers and high school teachers. The teachers will be selected from high-quality elementary and high schools in provinces and cities such as Beijing, Tianjin and East China's Shandong Province.
The plan also guarantees proper financial and service support to ensure the work of teachers.
Chu said that in promoting the plan, language and geographical environment are issues that need to be considered. "Such opportunities also call for stability, as frequent teacher turnover will affect the children," Chu said.
The plan comes after the General Office of the State Council in June 2016 released a guideline boosting the development of education in central and western regions, stressing the improvement of efforts to set up secondary school classes for ethnic minority students from Tibet and Xinjiang in other regions of China.
The guideline announced that 30,000 teachers from other areas of China will be dispatched to work in Tibet and Xinjiang by 2020, displacing over 90 percent of local science teachers, who will receive additional training.
The State Council's guideline also stated that China will offer more higher education opportunities to students from ethnic areas.