The Chinese central government has mapped out a national development blueprint for rural compulsory education to provide better conditions for teachers and to tackle staff shortages.
China Daily reported Wednesday that at present, a large number of rural teachers are working in vast rural areas in non-State official establishments.
The teachers, called daike or temporary teachers, could be employed in more official capacities in the years to come under the blueprint.
The national educational blueprint issued recently paints a brighter future for rural education.
"The wages for rural teachers may be included in the budget of the Ministry of Education in the future," Lu Yugang, deputy director of the personnel department of the ministry, was quoted as saying by China Business Times.
"We propose that a mechanism to guarantee the wage of all teachers be further consummated, and included in the budget. At the same time, we will also send more qualified teachers to work in primary and middle schools in remote and poverty-stricken areas," Lu said.
The proposed changes are welcomed by 40-year-old Yang Shuangcheng, the only teacher at Fanjiatai Primary School, which is located in the remote mountainous Fanjiatai Village in Longxian County, s state-level poverty-stricken county in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
Receiving 130 yuan (16 U.S. dollars) per month, Yang teaches ten pupils aged from nine to 13, who are living in four villages around the school.
There are about 260 temporary teachers like Yang, one-tenth of the overall number of teachers in Longxian County, who are working in remote rural villages, according to Wang Cangyu, chief of the Personnel Section of Longxian County Education Bureau.
Wang said there are 207 primary and middle schools in the county, with 46,134 students and 2,374 professional teachers altogether.
"The ratio of teachers and students in our county is 1:20, which basically conforms to the stipulations issued by the Ministry of Education," the official said.
However, most of the teachers are working in the county seat or township areas, and almost no one wants to stay in remote rural schools for long.
"To solve the shortage of professional teachers, the local government has to employ 260 temporary teachers for 44 rural schools in remote rural villages. Like Yang, many of them live in poor conditions," Wang said.
According to the official, the county wanted to pay these teachers more, but could not afford to.
"If we pay 100 yuan (12.3 U.S. dollars) more for each teacher per month, the county will pay more than 300,000 yuan (37,000 U.S. dollars) annually for the 260 teachers. It is too difficult."
Luo Yangmin, an education expert and professor in Shaanxi Normal University, said that the introduction of an employment system to the rural education sector will help provide more teachers for rural areas, and financial support from central government will encourage more teachers to work in rural areas.