Inner Mongolia requires ethnic schools to use standard Chinese language for certain subjects
Published: Feb 07, 2021 05:54 PM

A student raises her hand to answer a teacher's question at a grade school in Yuquang District of Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on May 7. Photo: Xinhua

North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has required all ethnic schools to use standard spoken and written Chinese language for the teaching of three subjects in some grades, starting from fall semester this year.

Students in the first and second grades of elementary and junior middle schools in the region will use unified Chinese, history, and morality and rule of law textbooks, which will be taught in standard spoken and written Chinese language, according to a notice issued by the region's government on Thursday. 

It also noted that junior middle school graduates are required to sit in their senior middle school entrance examinations in 2023 in standard written Chinese language. 

For senior middle schools, first graders will start using unified textbooks for the three subjects mentioned above from fall semester of 2022, while students graduating in 2025 will begin using standard written Chinese language in that year's national college entrance exams. 

The Department of Education in Inner Mongolia said that the adoption of the standard spoken and written Chinese language in everyday teaching and exams for ethnic students will not affect students' overall entrance to colleges, as enrolment for ethnic students is separate from non-ethnic students, and enrolment ratio for each group remains unchanged. 

According to China's Constitution, the state shall promote the use of standard spoken and written Chinese language nationwide.

The region's education authority noted that the popularization of education in standard spoken and written Chinese language is conducive to enhancing the cultural and national identity of all ethnic groups and promoting comprehensive and in-depth exchanges between them. 

Chinese authorities had stressed that the using of the standard spoken and written Chinese language does not mean the ethnic language will be phased out after the Xilingol League in Inner Mongolia started its unified textbook program in September 2020.