Xinjiang to build more preschools for mandarin fluency

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/2 22:28:40

Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region plans to build more public kindergartens in 2018 to improve the students' Putonghua, or mandarin proficiency.

The Xinjiang government will pay special attention to preschool education this year, which includes building more public kindergartens, and improve kindergarten students' mandarin in preparation for primary school, China Education Daily reported on Monday.

Some 1.88 million ethnic minority students in Xinjiang receive mandarin classes during the compulsory education stage (six years' primary school and three years' middle school), an increase of 1.05 million compared with 2016, the report said.

Learning mandarin not only enhances communication between different ethnic groups but also helps young ethnic minority people get a better education and greater employment opportunities, Xiong Kunxin, a professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times on Monday.

However, spreading mandarin in some ethnic minority regions is challenging because of the lack of qualified teachers, Xiong added.

China's education authorities released a plan in December 2017 to send more than 10,000 experienced teachers to Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang, to guide and train local teachers and help improve the quality of local education.

A development plan released by the Xinjiang education department in 2017 said more than 98 percent of children will have access to three years of free preschool education.

By 2020, students from ethnic minority groups will have a basic command of standard spoken and written mandarin, read the development plan.

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