More students in Xinjiang receive bilingual education

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-10-7 17:10:15

More students in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are being educated in both their native language and Mandarin than in 2010, the latest statistics from the regional education department showed.

By the end of 2014, the number of primary and secondary students receiving bilingual education in Xinjiang had increased from 999,000 to two million, with 480,000 in kindergartens. A total of 69 percent of ethnic minority children received bilingual education in elementary and secondary schools, up from 34 percent in 2010.

In Xinjiang, ethnic minority groups are guaranteed the right to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and there are ten major languages in the region. Seven languages are used as teaching languages in primary and secondary schools in Xinjiang.

In addition, the autonomous region encourages ethnic minorities to study Mandarin, the official national standard spoken language of China, which is based on the dialect spoken in and around Beijing. Promotion of Mandarin is meant to enhance mutual understanding and open up career opportunities for ethnic groups.

A number of measures, including construction of 2,500 bilingual kindergartens and government subsidies for bilingual education in rural areas and southern Xinjiang, have led to the expansion of bilingual education.

Teacher training is also a priority. Over 96,000 teachers have received training sponsored by local governments of other Chinese provinces. Among the teachers who received training, 44,900 are from southern Xinjiang, where bilingual education is in short supply.

Since 2010, 19 provincial and municipal governments have donated over 9.9 billion yuan ( 1.55 billion US dollars) to improve overall education in Xinjiang. Thanks to the funding, 313 schools have been built or expanded in southern Xinjiang, which lags behind the region in education.

Xinjiang's education department plans to make bilingual education available to 90 percent of ethnic minority students in primary and secondary schools by 2020.

Posted in: Society

blog comments powered by Disqus