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  1. You are here : Home > Specials > Poverty Alleviation through Education 2018 > Guideline

    Q&A with MOE's Development Planning Department supervisor on the 2018-2020 Implementation Program for Poverty Alleviation through Education in Areas Affected by Abject Poverty

    2018-02-28 14:22:00

    The MOE and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development recently co-released the 2018-2020 Implementation Program for Poverty Alleviation through Education in Areas Affected by Abject Poverty. A supervisor from the MOE’s Development Planning Department answered questions from reporters on the Program as follows.

    Q1. What is the background to the release of the Program?

    A1. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has placed poverty alleviation high on government agenda and in doing so has achieved significant progress. However, much work remains to be done in particularly destitute areas, former revolutionary base areas, ethnic minority areas and border areas. For instance, the key to eliminating serious poverty in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures” (the “Three Regions” refer to the Tibet Autonomous Region, four Tibetan-inhabited provinces, and four prefectures in southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, while the “Three Prefectures” refer to Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province and Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province), counties with a poverty incidence of 18%, and villages with a poverty incidence of 20%, lies in bridging gaps in local environmental improvement, economic development and livelihood opportunities.

    On June 23, 2017, the CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping chaired a meeting on reducing abject poverty in affected areas and listened to briefings on the work progress as well as related proposals. On September 25 in the same year, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued the Measures for Supporting Poverty Alleviation in Areas Affected by Abject Poverty, which took specific action to support severely affected areas wage their battel against extreme poverty.

    In light of guidance from the abovementioned meetings and official instruments, the MOE compiled the 2018-2020 Implementation Program for Poverty Alleviation through Education in Areas Affected by Abject Poverty in conjunction with the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, with a view to scoring a victory in the combat against extreme poverty in these areas within three years.

    Q2. What is the goal of the Program?

    A2. The Program focuses on poverty alleviation through education in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures”, by adopting preferential policies including additional funding, projects and initiatives targeting the education sector. According to the objectives set out in the Program, significant improvement should be achieved in educational development by 2020 in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures” and other areas affected by extreme poverty. Specifically, basic education services will be provided to all households registered under the National Anti-Poverty Information Network System (NAPINS), ensuring full disbursement of financial aid to students from NAPINS families at each stage in their education. Underprivileged children will be offered access to school, allowing more students from NAPINS families to receive quality and higher-level education, to lift their families out of poverty through opportunities provided by vocational education, higher education or vocational training. The education sector will be an engine to local socio-economic development and poverty alleviation.

    Q3. What key action areas are there underpinning poverty alleviation through education in areas affected by abject poverty?

    A3. Focusing on poverty alleviation through education in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures”, the Program will focus on four aspects. (1) Work on poverty alleviation through education will be monitored and managed through a general ledger to accurately assess the financial needs of students from NAPINS families, educational input for central and local governments, and educational support needed for provinces in Eastern China, state-owned enterprises, schools and social organizations. (2) Basic public education services will be steadily improved, covering preschool education, compulsory education and senior middle school level education, while the financial aid system will be reinforced to prevent pupils from dropping out of school due to poverty. (3) Measures will be taken to promote standardized Mandarin and vocational training in ethnic minority areas, with a view to equipping minorities with the skills needed to find more employment opportunities. (4) A multi-channel fundraising system will be explored to increase input for poverty reduction through education, by synthesizing the efforts of the central government, financial institutions and social organizations.

    Q4. What does general ledger management cover?

    A4. It mainly covers three types of action. (1) An up-to-date record of poor students will be set up and kept, to enable comparisons between figures in spring and fall semesters, keep track of each student registered in NAPINS, and prepare for targeted financial aid under relevant policies, while an annual reporting system on registered students and financial aid will be established, to monitor the effectiveness of poverty alleviation measures applied by local education authorities. (2) Statistical data will be collected and analyzed on conditions in general education at county level, to evaluate progress and identify shortfalls in construction of school infrastructures, equipment procurement, teacher development and financial aid for students, and improve education-driven poverty alleviation projects, while an annual reporting system on local fiscal expenditure for poverty alleviation through education will be established. (3) General ledger management will also be used to support partnership schemes between eastern and western provinces, pairing assistance by state agencies, targeted measures for completion of the building of a moderately prosperous society, and to facilitate progress in national poverty alleviation through education and monitor the pairing-off efforts for education-driven poverty alleviation in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures”.

    Q5. What specific measures aim to improve basic education services for the public in areas afflicted by abject poverty?

    A5. The Program prioritizes eight measures. (1) Secure compulsory education: across-the-board promotion of urban-rural integrated reform and development of compulsory education at the county level, including improvement of basic school conditions in deprived areas, improved working mechanisms to prevent dropping out, and expanded coverage of the nutrition improvement plan for rural students in compulsory education. (2) Develop pre-school education: More efforts will be made to implement the Third-round Action Plan for Pre-school Education, set up more public kindergartens, and adopt multiple approaches to encourage enrollment of children from NAPINS families in private kindergartens. (3) Promote senior middle school level education: further implementation of the 2017-2020 Guidelines for Popularizing High School Education will, while oversized classes will be eliminated in normal high schools, and establishment of a per-student funding system in normal high schools and secondary vocational schools. (4) Accelerate the development of vocational education: The Action Plan for East-West Provincial Collaboration on Vocational Education will first be rolled out in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures”, requiring close cooperation between vocational colleges and schools in eastern and western provinces, east-west partnership on secondary vocational school enrollment, and the participation of vocational colleges and schools in east-west labor service cooperation. (5) Reinforcement of the rural teaching workforce: More policy support will be given to teachers working in poverty-stricken rural areas, especially those in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures” and particularly deprived areas. (6) Ensure implementation of existing tuition exemption policies:such as the “Three Guarantees” policy on Tibet’s education, the 14-year free education policy in support of the educational development in four prefectures in southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and the “9+3” free education program for ethnic minority areas. (7) Ensure the financial aid policies cover every student registered in NAPINS: various financial aid and tuition exemption programs to be applied at all stages in education, from pre-school to higher education. (8) Enhance the cultivation of ethnic minority talents: Multi-ethnic classes in schools of predominately Han populated cities will continue to open, while extra work will be required for the cultivation of high-level core talents and public administrative talents among Tibetan and Xinjiang ethnic minorities.

    Q6. What are the specific measures to reduce poverty by promoting standardized Mandarin?

    A6. Three major measures will be taken. (1) Officials from primary-level Party organizations and young farmers and pastoralists will be organized to participate in standardized Mandarin training, and their awareness and capability for the use of standard spoken and written Chinese language will be strengthened through intensive learning or paired training designed to cater to the needs of local tourism, industrial development and export of labor services. (2) The promotion of standardized Mandarin will be combined with the training of vocational skills, to prevent language becoming a barrier to employment or escaping poverty for farmers and pastoralists. (3) Schools will play a more prominent role in the promotion of standard spoken and written Chinese language, while all classes of pre-school and compulsory education stages will be taught using standard spoken and written Chinese language, to ensure ethnic minority students gain basic mastery in the language.

    Q7. What are the specific measures to ensure implementation of the Program?

    A7. Three major measures will be taken. (1) A government accountability system will be put in place. The MOE and other state agencies will establish a coordination mechanism and hold work meetings regularly on major issues regarding education-driven poverty alleviation in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures.” Provincial governments will take principal responsibility for poverty relief through education in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures,” while municipal governments will coordinate and provide guidance and county-level governments will gather resources to implement specific action and policies. (2) Strict evaluation and supervision will be maintained to monitor implementation of the Program, with an emphasis on progress achieved in the education, financial aid and employment status of students from NAPINS families, to monitor and assess the effectiveness of poverty alleviation through education in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures.” (3) A positive social environment will be created by increasing publicity through media platforms around education-driven poverty alleviation in the “Three Regions and Three Prefectures,” related preferential policies and measures, model practices and experiences, to mobilize the public into actions supporting poverty alleviation through education in these areas.

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